Memphis schools defend anti-gay principal

She did nothing wrong when she outed a gay couple to the school community and their parents, according to the Memphis City schools. It was all necessary to maintain school order.

Ja, mein commandant!

The details are in the local newspaper story here. The district says it is preparing a more formal legal response to a letter the American Civil Liberties Union sent them last week.

Meanwhile, some parents want the board to take some disciplinary action against the principal, Daphne Beasley. A small but vocal contingent of parents confronted the board at its meeting Monday evening.

“I’m disgusted,” Memphis parent Natasha Burnett told Eyewitness News Everywhere. “I’m disgusted by it.”

“Firing her may be too harsh,” says Burnett, “but something needs to be done about that. No faculty member should be able to out a student like that.”

The students in question had just started a relationship that they were trying to keep quiet. The parents of the boys were not aware they were gay, until Beasley called the parents, outraged that they had gay children at her school.

Her actions were supposedly to quell “public displays of affection” on campus, but according to one school official students were taking PDAs to new levels.

School Board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Junior, says he understands the concerns of these parents, but says the principal had to take action.

Some kids were engaged in sex acts in plain view on campus,” says Whalum, “and that wasn’t the first time.”

Commissioner Whalum says the district’s legal team told the school board that no policies or laws were broken by Principal Beasley or any other staff members at HFP.

“From what I’m hearing,” says Whalum, “she has not violated anybody’s rights. And certainly if she has, the ACLU has the resources to determine whether or not that’s so. But from what our attorney says…we’re good.”

Well, I beg to differ. Even if the kids were screwing in public (unlikely), divulging their sexual orientations widely and pestering their parents seems like an invasion of privacy and an example of authority running wild.

This is one case worth watching.

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