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Point Foundation gives award to Texas senior expelled for being gay (14791)


Point Foundation gives award to Texas senior expelled for being gay

The Point Foundation, a national nonprofit that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender college and graduate students, has awarded an academic honorarium to James Barnett, the 18-year-old honor student who was expelled in December from Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, in the greater Dallas metropolitan area. (Read The Advocate's interview with Barnett by clicking here.)

After Trinity Christian administrators discovered Barnett was gay and hosting, a supportive Web site for GLBT youths, school officials reportedly outed him to his parents, who agreed to withdraw him from the academy at the school's request, Barnett said. His parents then threatened to withhold financial support for college in the fall, Barnett added, if he did not agree to go to a college in Texas. Barnett hopes to attend school out of state.

The amount of the Point Foundation award will be determined after a financial review in the spring, the foundation said in a press release. "We are pleased to present this honorarium to James, an outstanding student turned away simply because of his sexual orientation," Vance Lancaster, executive director of the Point Foundation, said in the written statement. "This is a sadly common and very real example of why Point Foundation scholarships are necessary."

The honorarium is separate from the Point Foundation's annual grants to GLBT scholars, which will be determined in April or May for the 2005-2006 school year. Applications are due March 1.

"The Point Foundation is honored to be in the position to bring this support to James," Lancaster said. "As the Point Foundation grows, we hope to create a world where students are not marginalized or turned away because of their sexual orientation or gender identity--ever."

For more information on the Point Foundation, click here.

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