Homophobic students have made gay teacher’s life a “nightmare” while school does nothing

Author: Molly Sprayregen

A gay high school English teacher in Alexandria, Virginia, says he has been repeatedly harassed and called anti-gay slurs by students.

 “I have never been made to feel less than by any student that I can recall due to my sexuality, even if their religion, culture, church, neighborhood, friends, or family tells them otherwise,” he wrote.

But this year, he said he was called the slur twice in one month simply in response to his asking students to go to class. “A third time, I was physically threatened, though that word was not used,” he said.

Henry also said he feels like “my school and district is letting me down” because of their lack of action to support him.

“This is why I’m so shaken by this,” he said. “I am not allowed to defend myself and my instinct is to defend, both myself and others, especially LGBTQ+ students, in all aspects of my life. The word ‘fa***t’ immediately alerts me and other LGBTQ+ people that a situation is now dangerous. The response by campus leaders was very unsatisfactory.”

A statement from Julia Burgos, the Alexandria School System’s Chief of School & Community Relations, said that “safety is a top priority at Alexandria City Public Schools” and “we are dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students, staff, visitors and members of our school community.”

“To that end,” the statement continued, “we place a strong emphasis on adherence to our Student Code of Conduct with our students. When we are made aware of matters that do not align with our code of conduct, we address them and take appropriate action with those students as warranted.”

An anonymous parent of a former student of Henry’s spoke to the Alexandria Times about the matter and called the situation “completely unacceptable.”

“Every parent should be angry; anyone who hears this should be angry,” he said. “If we can’t even protect or make a teacher who’s been there as long as Henry feel safe, how can we make a child feel safe?” 

Henry finished his letter by emphasizing that the hallways of school are “an absolute NIGHTMARE.”

“I love being an educator,” he said. “I love this school, and teaching is something I think I’m really good at. Many in this building feel the same. It saddens me that a small group of students in this school is taking that away from us and is forcing many of us to look for off-ramps.”

Virginia is governed by anti-LGBTQ+ Republican Glenn Youngkin, who was elected in part based on his support of the so-called “parents’ rights” movement that seeks to shut down racially- and LGBTQ+-inclusive learning environments, calling such inclusion a form of “woke indoctrination.”

Youngkin’s education policies have been especially harmful to trans students, forcing them to use bathrooms, pronouns, and names that align with their sex assigned at birth.

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Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Molly Sprayregen

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