Last updated at 6:37 PM on 2nd March 2012
Outrage: Dorothy Bond is accused of making the inflammatory remarks as she reminded students to refrain from public displays of affection
A high school principal accused of threatening to expel gay students and told a lesbian she was going to hell has resigned.
Dorothy Bond, the principal at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee, quit in the wake of the inflammatory remarks made as she reminded students to refrain from public displays of affection. She also allegedly told pregnant students that they had ruined their lives.
The principal threatened to expel gay students who showed affection for someone of the same sex, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a letter to the school board after several students and their families asked them to take action.
According to a statement from the ACLU, Haywood High School Principal Dorothy Bond also said that gay students were ‘not on God’s path’ and were ‘ruining their lives.’
The school district lists ‘physical contact’ as a minor offence. But during a February 9 school assembly, Bond threatened gay students showing affection with 60-day suspensions, transfer to an different school or expulsion, students told the ACLU, according to the Tennessean.
Student Amber Whittiemore says she took a call from her gay friend, who was at the meeting, afterwards. The gay student was devastated, she said.
Whittiemore told ABC 24: ‘At first she was talking about PDA [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, you’re life is over.’
The principal tendered her resignation as furious parents called for disciplinary action.
Accused: Haywood high school principal allegedly told gay students they were going to hell
Parent Tony Snipes said: ‘When I heard about it, I was outraged.’
‘That’s not her role. Her role as educator, as principal, is to encourage them regardless of their circumstances or situations,’ he said.
He says the principal’s views amount to ‘If you’re pregnant or homosexual, you’re not welcome to Haywood County High School.’
A statement released by the Haywood County School Board’s law firm, Purcell, Sellers & Craig Inc said Bond resigned yesterday, adding: ‘The Haywood County Board of Education acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech,
‘Further, the Haywood County Board of Education strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards.’
But some residents are supporting Bond, in a clash that is threatening to drive a wedge through the Southern community.
Jeff Hooper said: ‘I’m behind her, I’m behind her 100 percent,’
He said: ‘Whatever she said, she loves those kids. She taught them from the ground up; she has their best interest at heart.’
After the resignation the ACLU issued another statement praising the school district’s swift response, according to the Jackson Sun.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee said: ‘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.’