ACLU Slams Tennessee Principal for Outing Gay Students

The ACLU has sent a letter to Memphis City Schools, demanding the school system implement new policies, reprimand principal Daphne Beasley of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in South Memphis, and compensate and apologize to two students whom Beasley outed in a public posted list which the ACLU says violated the students’ constitutional rights to equal protection, freedom of expression and association, due process and privacy.

MemphisABC24 Memphis reports:

“The ACLU says in September 2007, Beasley asked her staff to give her the names of students who were couples, heterosexual and homosexual, because she wanted to keep an eye on them to cut down on public displays of affection. She’s accused of publicly posting the names of those students, including two boys, Andrew and Nicholas, who had just started dating. The ACLU says that in doing so, Beasley revealed their relationship to other students, teachers and even their parents.”

As a result of Beasley’s actions, the gay students have been the target of verbal harassment and even discrimination from teachers:

“One of the young men, Nicholas, an 11th grader who just made the Dean’s List, spoke with Eyewitness News Everywhere. ‘It was actually frightening,’ he says, ‘to see a list with my name on it where not just other teachers could see but students as well.’ Nicholas says his teachers and other students treat him differently as a result of Principal Beasley’s decision and that he and Andrew have both had to deal with verbal assaults. Nicholas was also not allowed to go on a trip to New Orleans to help rebuild homes because, as one of his teacher’s explained, he would ’embarrass’ the school by engaging in gay affection. ‘I really feel that my personal privacy was invaded,’ Nicholas says. ‘I mean, Principal Beasley called my mother and outed me to my mother!'”

Said Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director at the ACLU of Tennessee: “The principal’s outing of these two students to their families, classmates, and teachers is unacceptable. Its only purpose was to intimidate not only these students but all gay students at Hollis Price. Educators should be focused on educating their students and not on harassing them because of their sexual orientation or the people with whom they associate.”

Memphis Principal Accused of “Outing” Gay Students [eyewitness news]
ACLU Takes On High School Principal For Discriminating Against Male Couple [aclu]
Demand Letter [aclu]

Comments

  1. virgoboy says

    PHEW! Once again, absolutely unbelievable how ignorant people still are in regards to this. They do these things without any thought as to the consequences. I would have been mortified if this had happened to me as BOTH of my parents were teachers at both my Junior and Senior high schools!

  2. Bob R says

    The principal needs to be terminated. It would also be nice if she could be personally sued for her despicable, hateful action. Kids have a difficult time in school trying to get an education. They don’t need additional stress piled on by the obnoxious behavior of unprofessional and mentally defective teachers and administrators. I hope she is hounded by a nationwide effort and forced to resign or is just fired.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Fundamentalist Christians, whether black or white, are some of the most ruthless motha’ fuckas on this planet.

    NIC, you often remind Towleroad visitors about using sexist and misogynist slurs, and so I won’t call this woman (highschool principal) what I want to. But think of every slur that an evil woman, man or “queen” can be called and that’s what I’m thinking about this evil bible-beating BITCH right now….oooops.

    Actually, I don’t know if the b…. is a fundie, but well…just in case, I’ve gone on my tirade against them, and I’m not retracting one word.

    We had a similar incident happen here in Philly where some simple-minded (misgoynistic slur) went on a witch hunt against lesbian girls who supposedly were intimidating other “normal” girls. Nevermind the fact that gay boys and girls are harassed and physiclally violated every fuckin’ day at her school, she wanted to “protect the girls from the aggressive lesbians.” The rotten (misogynistic slur).

    Sorry, if I seem a little over zealous over this news story. I had the day off yesterday, and so this is difficult to deal with when you have a hangover…well, actually, withdrawal (I don’t have hangovers).

    It’s one thing to bash grown gay people, it’s an abomination (to use one of these idiots biblical terms)…it is an abomination to persecute gay children.

  4. AggieCowboy says

    She’s lucky the kids weren’t kicked out of their homes since at least Nicholas wasn’t out to his parents. This was a serious breech of student Rights and ethics that put students at risk of physical and emotional harm. Her actions are unexcusable as are those of the students and teachers who used the information to discriminate against the two. I ditto that she should be terminated immediately and there should a firm zero tolerance crack down on students and teachers who discriminate against the boys.

  5. JerzeeMike says

    My God! What if another student decided to pull a Larry King-type of assassination (Because that’s what it was!!!) on these poor children.

    That principal MUST BE FIRED immediately!!

  6. G Blanton says

    The superintendent of Memphis City Schools will respond in the “right” way. She was the Supt in Minneapolis when we implemented the district wide support program for GLBT youth. Her name is Carol Johnson, and she knows whats up. She was one of the first superintendents to kick the boy scouts out of Mpls Public Schools because of their anti-gay perspective.

  7. Jack Scribe says

    In addition to a few heads rolling at the school, I hope a successful lawsuit makes a big point in the Bluff City. The young men could use the funds for college.

  8. says

    Funny how these kind of people prey on others who have no legal right to defend themselves…

    Bet old Daphne Beasley has some facts she’d rather not see posted for all to see.

    But that would be illegal, wouldn’t it…?

  9. SONNIE says

    I agree 100 percent with Derrick, and i agree with Jerzeemike. The Lawrence King tragedy has had no effect on these narrow-minded BIGOTS. That woman should be fired immediately.

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    G BLANTON,

    Thanks for the information on the enlightened Memphis superintendent of schools. My blood pressure is coming back to normal because that (misogynistic slur) principal will pay a price for her evil.

  11. AdamO says

    Emailing her seems like a good idea, but also, emailing her superiors is likely to be better. I give you Mr. Dan Ward, Interim Superintendent of Memphis City Schools: superintendentward@mcsk12.net

    Also, from the MCS website: “Memphis City Schools does not discriminate in its programs or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, handicap/disability, sex, or age.”

    Missing something, hmmmm? Somehow not surprising.

  12. anon says

    Quite a nasty piece of work there. I’m not sure what the school can do about it, but the kid may be able to sue as a tort claim. The problem is that the couple must have been obvious if the staff knew about it, so they could have been outed by anyone. I think the harassment has more to do with posting the names than simply knowing the truth.

  13. AaronJ says

    I wouldn’t fire her. I’d force her to stay in the job and be held up to public ridicule. Firing her would put her out of the limelight. She doesn’t deserve to get off that easy.

    Actually, demote her. Can’t make her a janitor because janitors are hard workers. Make her somebody’s asst. a**-wipe. Not that she’s not already.

  14. Nick says

    Let’s also not forget equality in the other direction with this. This was just as bad for the hetero couples who were posted; just as much of THEIR privacy was invaded. It might not have as many looming consequences as for the gay couple, but it’s still there. As a group that cries out of equality, we must remember the street goes both ways.

  15. Mateo says

    Guess who just sent this bitch an email? That’s right, me. And that bitch hasn’t canceled her email account yet. So all of you, send messages as quickly as possible.

  16. Wheezy says

    Here’s The Board of Commisioners if you want to let them know your opinion of Principal Beasley’s actions http://www.mcsk12.net/admin/administration_frames.htm:

    hartt@mcsk12.net
    jonesmartaviusd@mcsk12.net
    williamsf@mcsk12.net
    whalumkennetht@mcsk12.net
    gatewoods@mcsk12.net
    MallottBettyJ@mcsk12.net
    robinsonp@mcsk12.net
    warrenj@mcsk12.net
    webbsharona@mcsk12.net

    The principal’s e-mail:
    Daphne Beasley
    BeasleyD@mcsk12.net
    (901) 435-1765
    807 Walker Avenue
    Memphis, TN 38126

    Superintendent Dan Ward:
    2597 Avery, Room 214
    Memphis, TN 38112
    Phone: (901) 416-5300
    Fax: (901) 416-5578
    e-mail: superintendentward@mcsk12.net

  17. says

    You queens need to calm down. I think outing people is good, so I think in the end what she did was good (even though her intentions weren’t). At least these boys aren’t in the closet anymore.

    BTW, outing people is extremely fun. You should try it sometime.

  18. Tony says

    I sent an email to all of the above. I did get a “Thank you for your comments” response from Commissioner Webb so at least they are reading/responding.

  19. Brad says

    Andy-let us know when you get a picture and contact info for this cunt lips. If it’s not forthcoming I guess I can google the school.

  20. aaronj says

    JJH: BTW, outing people is extremely fun. You should try it sometime.

    You SERIOUSLY need to get a real brain. I was outed in the workplace. 13 months later I was fired. IT SUCKED you freak!

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