Huffpost High School

Homophobia In High Schools: Is Your School A Safe Place To Come Out?

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Did you know that up until last month you could be kicked out of the army for being gay, and in a lot of states people can still get fired for being gay?

So, what about high school? Can you be kicked out if you come out? It's a scary thought, but some recent stories we've been seeing in the news show that it's a reality many American students are facing.

Rachel Aviles, a model student at a Christian high school in Connecticut, was recently asked to leave after administrators called her into their office and questioned her about her sexual orientation. After Rachel confirmed that she was a lesbian, she says she was encouraged to withdraw, rather than be expelled. She had been one of the most popular girls in the grade -- and her orientation was no secret among her classmates. It was her teachers who didn't know.

And just this week, a gay high school student in Alice, Texas was kicked off the cheerleading squad and suspended by the administration after he was seen kissing another male student. The cheerleader was caught on a surveillance camera, which his family suspects was being used to monitor him because he was gay.

Are students coming out more -- or being outed more than ever -- or is it teachers and administrators who are the problem here? A few days ago, a New Jersey teacher was brought under investigation for anti-gay remarks she posted on her Facebook that criticize a display at the school celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender month. She wrote: "Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?"

So, what do you make of all this? Do you feel like your school is a safe place to come out? How would your teachers react? Share your feelings about the issue in the comments below.

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Does Your School Have a Gay-Straight Alliance?



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