A Tennessee high school principal has resigned amidst a flurry of reports that she had made blatantly homophobic remarks to gay students during a meeting.
The Jackson Sun is reporting that Haywood County High School Principal Dorothy Bond tendered her resignation yesterday, after the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Tennessee sent a letter “on behalf of several students and families at the school” to the school's superintendent asking the district to take action.
"The Haywood County Board of Education acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech," the Haywood County School Board’s law firm wrote in a statement confirming Bond's resignation. "Further, the Haywood County Board of Education strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards."
The Jackson Sun reports that Jerry Pyron will now serve as interim principal of Haywood County High School.
Bond had come under fire from area parents and national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates after ABC 24 reported the principal had made insensitive remarks about both homosexuality and teen pregnancy during a Feb. 9 assembly. "At first she was talking about [public displays of affection] 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.
According to Nashville Scene, the ACLU officials praised Bond's resignation, saying in a statement, "Haywood County School District's swift action makes it clear that they do not condone the type of harassment and targeted discrimination that was taking place at the high school. We applaud the Haywood County School District for affirming students' right to be who they are and to be free from bullying by school leadership."
Still, not everyone is happy about the outcome. "Thank God I had teachers who taught me the difference between right and wrong," one person wrote on the Jackson Sun's Facebook page. "Now we are moving away from this and just letting kids do what they want. Kids need to know what is right and what is wrong and without this leadership they will be lost in this world for the rest of their lives."