Memphis School Board Backs Principal Who Outed Students

According to the school board of Memphis, the principal who outed two gay students did nothing wrong. You may recall last week’s story in which the ACLU demanded that Hollis F. Price Middle High School Principal Daphne Beasley be reprimanded for her actions.

According to the ACLU, Beasley included the two boys on a list she posted of students thought to be romantically involved, outing them to other students, faculty, and their parents. Beasley allegedly told the mother of one of the boys that she “would not tolerate homosexuality” at her school.

But the school board says that Beasley did nothing wrong and was following policy. In a reply to the ACLU the board said that the middle school is located on the campus of LeMoyne-Owen College and that the college had complained “that some of our student couples were involved in explicit sexual behavior in public view on the college campus.”

As a result, the school board said “faculty and staff, the principal of Hollis F. Price made several general announcements to the student body that this behavior would not be tolerated.”

“Regrettably, the improper behavior continued,” the school board said in its reply to the ACLU. “Therefore, the principal felt it appropriate to notify the parents of those children she knew to be involved romantically.”

The board said that the parents of students who were opposite sex couples also were notified that Beasley “certainly did not specify the sexual orientation of any student. Additionally, the list was never posted publicly anywhere at the school.”

Yet the mother of one of the boys says, “I couldn’t believe it when I went to meet with the principal and that list was right there by her desk where anyone could see it.” The ACLU is continuing to investigate. I’ll post an update as soon as it becomes available.