More startling news out of Tennessee: a local school principal stands accused of making blatantly homophobic statements toward her students.
As ABC 24 is reporting, students at Haywood High School in Brownsville claim Principal Dorothy Bond made insensitive remarks about both homosexuality and teen pregnancy during a meeting. "At first she was talking about PDA and she turned around and she directly pointed to the gay people and said if you're gay, you're going to hell and if you're pregnant, your life is over," student Amber Whittiemore is quoted as saying.
Haywood High School parent Tony Snipes said Bond's behavior isn't particularly surprising given her history: "A couple of years ago when she was principal over at Sunny Hill one of my children had his hair in braids. At an assembly she told the young men if they're sitting between the legs of a girl getting their hair braided for a few hours, that they must be gay."
Tennessee, of course, has been a hotbed of anti-gay activity in recent weeks. The controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would restrict all teaching about homosexuality before high school, cleared its first hurdle in the state House of Representatives last month, despite fierce opposition from national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists, who pointed to the cases of Phillip Parker and Jacob Rogers, two local teens who committed suicide after claiming to have endured anti-gay bullying in their respective schools.
In January, Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield came under fire for an interview he gave to HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile, in which he made provocative statements about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the media's supposed "glorification" of homosexuals.
UPDATE: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee has responded to the reports, noting they've sent a letter to the superintendent of the Haywood County school district superintendent inquiring about Bond's alleged remarks:
The incident appears to be part of a broader pattern of official anti-gay remarks and policies by the principal, and of incorporating prayers and proselytizing into school events.
The ACLU has asked the school to clarify that students have the constitutional right to identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual; to acknowledge that two students of the same sex are dating; to express LGBT-friendly political views; and to receive an education free from the unlawful promotion of religion by school officials.