The administration at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tenn., has decided not to censure students who wore "straight pride" signs in protest of the school's new Gay-Straight Alliance.
According to NewNowNext, several students produced modified versions of the posters promoting the GSA -- with the pro-GSA message crossed out like a "No Smoking" sign. After teachers reportedly removed the posters, which included the words "straight pride" and an emoji of an opposite-sex couple from the hallways, students taped the posters to their shirts and wore them around campus. Although teachers asked the students to remove the shirts, the students refused -- and were not punished for that refusal.
The signs in question were apparently posted by students and parents after they raised concerns that the school administrator's approval of the GSA signified a disregard for "Christian" values. NewNowNext also reports that the school has several Christian clubs and hosts Bible study on school grounds.
"The fact that we could not get an approvement [sic] to start a fishing club at our high school but they approve a gay club makes me sick," wrote student Kyle Palmer in a public Facebook post January 19. In sharing Palmer's post, school alumnus John Wimley warned that the acceptance of a GSA would be followed by the creation of a school-sanctioned club for "Future ISIS Members of America," referencing the radical Islamist terrorist organization controlling parts of Iraq and Syria.
But supporters of the new GSA contend the doomsday predictions and sinister motivations simply aren't true.
"It is not a recruitment tool or trying to promote an alternate lifestyle," Amie Lomas, the school district's superintendent, said in an interview with local TV station WBRC. "It's more about tolerance and trying to treat people equally and with respect."
"The FCHS GSA will foster a safe environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students and their allies," reads the club's description on the school's official website. "The FCHS GSA will offer a space where LGBT students and their allies can speak freely and honestly with their peers about issues specific to LGBT students without fear of rejection or harassment."