A group of high school baseball players in Alabama screamed “f**k the faggots” while speeding past a same-sex couple’s home last week.
Colin Tomblin of Madison, who shares the home with his partner, Jason, posted security camera footage of the incident on Facebook.
“We don’t know these kids and have never had a single interaction with them or done anything to warrant this hate speech and harassment,” Tomblin wrote. “This is 2020 and behavior like this should not be tolerated. If your kids do this to random strangers, imagine what they’re doing to their classmates and others. This bullying type behavior is exactly why kids are committing suicide. I can’t imagine that Madison City Schools, James Clemens High School, or the JC baseball team would condone this type of behavior.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for Madison City Schools said Superintendent Robby Parker had apologized to the couple for the incident.
“The incident happened over the weekend, not on school property nor during a school-sanctioned activity. Having said that, Madison City Schools does not condone intolerance of any sort by its students or employees,” Madison City Schools spokesman John Peck said in a statement to AL.com.
“Character traits such as respect and acceptance are taught in the early grades and reinforced through the upper grades. Behavior contrary to what is expected by Madison City Schools is regrettable and not a reflection of who we are as a school system,” he added.
Clemens High School Principal Brian Clayton also addressed the incident with the students, AI.com reported. Tomblin said he was he appreciated the district’s response.
“We figure if these students are out in the community acting like this, they’re definitely acting like that to their fellow classmates in school,” he said. “You see it all the time with LGBT kids committing suicide and turning to drugs.”
“I hope bringing awareness to this issue brings positive change to this type of behavior in the schools,” he added.
Madison City is just outside of Huntsville, where 15-year-old Nigel Shelby committed suicide last year after being bullied in school for being gay. This fact was not lost on Josh Moon, a columnist for the Alabama Political Reporter.
“And so, here we are. In arguably Alabama’s most progressive area, where we’re still struggling with a 1980s problem,” Moon wrote Thursday.
“But more than the two major incidents, the reports of daily bullying and slurs directed at other students indicate a serious, systemic issue among area students. One that doesn’t appear to be getting better. And that is a serious, serious issue,” Moon wrote.