The ACLU is defending two gay students who were outed by their high school principal. The principal wanted to know the names of students who were couples – heterosexual and homosexual – because she was concerned about public displays of affection.
She posted the entire list of students in public, which effectively outed two boys who were attempting to keep their sexuality private. Student relationships were revealed to other students, teachers and their parents.
Nicholas and Andrew had just started dating each other.
According to MyEyewitnessNews.com, “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!'”
Reporter Joyce Peterson writes, “The ACLU wants the school district to create new policies that would prevent these types of acts from happening again. The group is also asking for compensation for Andrew and Nicholas and for an apology from the principal.”
ACLU attorney Christine Sun says, “Our first reaction was wow, this is unbelievable that a principal has gone this far. The constitution protects all of us from the government intruding in our private lives when there isn’t a reason to do that. This was morally and legally wrong.”
Gay rights advocates plan to attend the next Memphis School Board meeting.