Haywood High School principal Dorothy Bond allegedly said gay students were "not on God's path" and threatened to expel them if they were caught showing public affection for same-sex students, according to reports made to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by students. Now the ACLU of Tennessee has sent a letter to the Haywood County school district superintendent.
The comments were reportedly made at an assembly on February 9th. Bond allegedly also told students that gay people are "ruining their lives," and she said public displays of affection among gay students could result in 60-day suspensions, alternative school assignments, and even expulsion. However, the ACLU claims the school's current policy on public displays of affection is neutral in regard to sexual orientation.
Calls by the Memphis Flyer to Haywood County Superintendent of Schools Marlon King have not yet been returned.
According to the ACLU, Bond has made past homophobic remarks, such as telling a lesbian student that she would go to hell for being gay. Bond also reportedly has incorporated prayers and proselytizing into school events.
The ACLU is requesting that Haywood High School clarify that students have the constitutional right to identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. The group also wants the district to acknowledge that two students of the same sex are dating, to allow students to express LGBT-friendly political views, and to provide students with an education free from religion.