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Straight male
cheerleader quits after being labeled "gay"

Straight male
cheerleader quits after being labeled "gay"

After Platte Valley High School student Cole Graves made the cheerleading squad at his school, he was labeled a "fag" and taunted and teased by fellow classmates. The taunts became so unbearable that the 17-year-old junior now says he is quitting the squad. "I didn't want to stop, but this is just too much," Graves told TheDenver Post.

People began calling Graves names from the first day of school, he said. But what prompted him to give up was a posting on the Kersey, Colo., school's Web site of the cheerleading squad's picture with the caption "I'M GAY" under the photo of Graves and another male cheerleader. It was posted October 7 and was taken down October 17 after it was discovered by school officials, Graves said. "It didn't bother me until it was posted on the Internet," Graves said. "That's when things got bad."

He and his parents met with school administrators on Tuesday. The school will issue apologies to Graves and suspend the student responsible for the posting for one week, Graves said. Meanwhile, Graves will concentrate on sports like wrestling. "Everybody called me a fag, but I'm not gay," Graves said. "I'm just a regular guy." (

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