PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh-area school district is investigating allegations of harassment involving students.
Several parents and students from McGuffey High School in Washington County contacted Channel 11 News Friday, voicing concern about a so-called “Anti-Gay Day” allegedly organized by some students.
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A group of students allegedly spread the news that if they were “anti-gay,” they were to wear a flannel shirt and write “Anti-Gay” on their hands.
“It hurts me to see how rude and cruel, and some of these people were my friends before this started,” said Zoe Johnson, a student at McGuffey High School.
The students allegedly organized the “Anti-Gay Day” in response to the observance of the nationally recognized “Day of Silence,” where attention is called to gay and lesbian bullying and harassment in schools.
“Yesterday, there was pushing, posters hung on homosexual students’ lockers. Teachers were having to run out and take them down,” said Johnson.
Johnson took to Facebook, writing, “This is why so many students hate going to school.” She also spoke out at Thursday night’s school board meeting, saying that administrators need to do something.
“They made an announcement this morning, saying the only colors are blue and gold, but I feel like that is not getting the point across. Just to ignore it isn't going to work,” said Johnson.
Below is a statement from Dr. Erica Kolat, the superintendent of McGuffey School District.
“Yesterday afternoon, April 16, 2015, allegations of harassment were brought to the attention of our administration. McGuffey School District, along with school police officers, continue to investigate all allegations. We will follow our Student Code of Conduct, and file legal citations, as warranted. We resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination.”
In the meantime, several students who reached out to Channel 11 News said they are afraid to go to school.
“It's sad to me. It's a high school. We should feel safe here. We don't, and it's starting to get worse,” said Wagers.
While students wore flannel shirts Thursday in support of the alleged “Anti-Gay Day,” Channel 11’s Cara Sapida reported that they wore orange Friday and allegedly have another five days’ worth of “anti-gay” attire planned next week.