A gay high school senior in Texas says he experienced bullying after being nominated for homecoming king.
Justin Boone was initially "excited" and also "a little nervous" after learning of the nomination. However, his outlook changed once he learned of the reactions from some classmates.
In one instance, Boone was forwarded a text message from a peer that included an antigay slur and a declaration that if Boone were crowned, "I'm moving."
The remarks led him to stay at home the day the winners of the homecoming court were announced. "Just the homophobic comments I just didn't feel like hearing it, if -- in case I did win, I heard some people were going to boo or something, and I just didn't feel like going through that," Boone told KTRK TV, an ABC affiliate in Houston.
In response, Boone's mother, Erica Matula, sent the offensive text message to the El Campo School District and urged administrators to raise awareness about bullying.
"We need to acknowledge that the school does have these bullying tendencies and that it's not being acknowledged by anyone, and I feel like the school can take a step forward and try something new," Justin said.
Despite the hatred, Justin also said he received positive messages about the nomination. "A lot of people came up to me and texted me and really sent me some good support," he said.