The Jackson Sun reports that Dorothy Bond has resigned as the principal of Haywood High School in Haywood, Tennessee, after reports surfaced that she said gay students are “not on God’s path” and threatened to expel them if they publicly showed affection for members of the same sex. The ACLU also received reports that Haywood High School Principal Dorothy Bond not only made discriminatory remarks about LGBT people, but also told students that “life is over” for girls who became pregnant. We sent a letter to the superintendent yesterday afternoon asking the school to clarify students’ rights. Within hours, Bond was out.
Haywood County School District did the right thing by taking lightning-fast action and affirming students’ right to free speech and upholding values of tolerance and diversity in their statement announcing Bond’s resignation. The public outcry that arose from reports about Bond’s behavior shows that when it comes down to it, communities will not support a principal who blatantly goes out of her way to make students feel so unwelcome in their own school.
Hopefully what happened in Haywood sends a message to other schools that discrimination against any student is not an American value, and a school official who uses her position to demean the students she leads does not deserve to keep her post.