Dear CBHS Administration,Sanderson said the school isn't calling it a suspension, but they told him he was being sent home because the school was getting bad press. That press started last week after it was revealed that CBHS instituted a policy to prevent students at the all-male private Catholic school from bringing boys from other schools to the homecoming dance. CBHS declined to comment for this story.
Today I arrived at school around 6:30am. I sat down to complete my assignments for the classes I planned on attending today. At 7:30am, I was speaking to a teacher when an administrator walked into the room and told me to gather my books and come to the office. When I arrived at the office I was told that the administration “had 890 other students to worry about” and could not deal with me. I was told to go home for the week. I said goodbye to a few teachers and students, then drove home.
I am hurt by this exclusion. It goes against the Lasallian value of brotherhood that the school is supposed to stand for. You won’t let me dance with my date and you won’t let me go to class now either. I had hoped that today would be one for positive conversation going forward. Instead, I was sent home. I haven’t done anything wrong and haven’t hurt anybody. I want to be welcomed back to the school building today and I want this mean-spirited semi-suspension ended, so that I can do my classwork like anybody else.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote from a Birmingham jail cell: “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of...prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
"It's my pleasure to introduce you to Mrs. and Mrs. Wallheimer," said attorney (and former Shelby County Commissioner) Steve Mulroy, as a couple hundred people gathered on the lawn of the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) Friday afternoon cheered and clapped. Mulroy was referring to Jennifer and Alisha Wallheimer (formerly Jennifer Ballheimer and Alisha Wall), who married today on the front porch of the MGLCC.
Mulroy was one of several volunteers with marriage-ordaining powers at the MGLCC's celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. He and others married two other couples on-site in front of the gathered crowd. Before the ceremony, ministers roamed the crowd looking for anyone ready to marry.
"We actually had more ministers come out to perform weddings than we had people looking to get married," said Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) Shelby County Committee Chair Justin Smith.
Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton spoke at the event. He told a story about having to go to a segregated medical clinic when he was a kid followed by the words "An injustice to anyone is an injustice to all."
"I was too young to know the Civil Rights Movement, but I am honored to be here today as we stand for justice for every human being in this country," Milton said.
While the event was celebratory, TEP President and Chair Ginger Leonard cautioned that, once the celebrations were over, the community still had lots of work ahead.
"Just because we can get married doesn't mean we are no longer going to be discriminated against in housing, jobs, getting loans from banks, or in other areas," Leonard said.
She said TEP will begin to shift its focus on non-discrimination ordinances with specific language addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, anti-bullying legislation, housing for LGBT homeless youth, and LGBT senior care.