Students Will Receive No Punishment for Anti-Gay Posters

January 28th 2016

Shawn Binder

Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee has been the focus of the media for the past few days, and it is no wonder why. High school students of Franklin were caught placing "Straight Pride" signs around their school. The signs in question had a circle and line through the GSA's (Gay/Straight Alliance) original emblem.


A photo shared from the hall of Franklin County High School yesterday of a poster for the FCHS GSA . Are other club poster defaced as well?

Posted by Franklin County High School TN Gay Straight Alliance Supporters on Saturday, January 23, 2016

Along with that, the students placed an opposite-sex emoji couple on the poster. While the graphic design work was shoddy at best, that didn't stop the students from placing them all over their hallways and even on their clothing despite teacher's requests to take them down.

One student made a public Facebook status after the GSA announced it would begin a club at his school:

"I'm not usually one to rant on Facebook about things, for the most part I keep my opinion to myself but I cannot bite my tongue on this one. At franklin [sic] county high school a GSA club has been started. This stands for Gay Straight Alliance. When I heard this, I could not believe it. The fact that we could not get an approvement [sic] to start a fishing club at our high school but they approve a gay club makes me sick. In this society, it is not okay to offend anyone. Well what about Christians? What about the WORD OF GOD? If you are offended by this post, feel free to delete me. But I will stick up for the Lord until the day I die!!! #jesusjesusjesus #tillthedayidie"


I'm not usually one to rant on Facebook about things, for the most part I keep my opinion to myself but I cannot bite my...

Posted by Kyle Palmer on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

We're not trying to pick on just this one high schooler, however. After the GSA announced it would begin a club at Franklin County, many parents and students raised concerns that it was promoting unsavory morals in the education system.

While you would think a bunch of students wearing and posting anti-gay vitriol would be punishable, no one has received even a slap on the wrist for their behavior from the school's administration.

The school district's superintendent Amie Lomas weighed in on the controversy. Lomas showed support of the GSA at Franklin County High School, but the superintendent did not mention recourse for the anti-gay posters.

 “It is not a recruitment tool or trying to promote an alternate lifestyle,” Lomas said of GSA, in an interview with WBRC, a local television station. “It’s more about tolerance and trying to treat people equally and with respect.”

The Franklin County High School's website describes the club as a "safe environment" for LGBT youth and their allies. "The FCHS GSA will offer a space where LGBT students and their allies can speak freely and honestly with their peers about issues specific to LGBT students without fear of rejection or harassment,” the website says.

Clearly, a Gay/Straight Alliance is needed at this school. Franklin County High School needs to protect all of its students' mental and physical welfare, and they need to punish the students who made their queer classmates feel unsafe.

LGBT youth are much more likely to experience some form of bullying. In 2011, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network conducted a study to survey bullying in schools, particularly amongst queer youth, and found that a whopping 82 percent reported being bullied. Words matter — like the slurs on these posters — and queer youths are four times as likely to self-harm or commit suicide when compared to their straight peers. If all these statistics don't bother you, then consider that 32 percent of queer students have reported staying home from school due to bullying. Any way you dice it, for every Christian child who feels like their "rights" are being infringed upon, innocent queer students are being deprived of safety and an education. Bullying is never a victimless act.