Lance Sanderson, the gay high school student from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis Tennessee, has been suspended for a week because he had attempted to bring a male date to his school’s homecoming.
As we reported last week, Sanderson’s school (which is Catholic) told him that he could not bring a same-sex date to the homecoming dance. Sanderson then launched an online petition to persuade the school to change their stance.
Sanderson was unable to change the school’s mind and, as a result, did not attend the homecoming dance.
When he arrived at school today he was sent home by the administration because they ‘could not deal with him.’ Sanderson sent the following letter to the school’s administration after being suspended:
Dear CBHS Administration,
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.
Sanderson spoke with NewNowNext about his suspension, saying,
“I am disappointed that I am unable to sit in class today. While many assignments can be reached online, I was going to take two tests today and an in class timed essay. Tomorrow at CBHS, I was going to meet with admissions representatives from around the country (they do not visit often). I hope to be welcomed back into a classroom setting soon.”