A high school principal has resigned following a controversy over allegations that she made anti-gay comments and expulsion threats to students. Dorothy Bond, principal at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee, has been accused by students of targeting homosexuals with her words, while also making insensitive comments about teen pregnancy.
"At first she was talking about PDA and she turned around and she directly pointed to the gay people and said if you're gay you're going to hell and if you're pregnant, you're life is over," student Amber Whittiemore said.
As ABC24 notes, Whittiemore was not in the room during a Feb. 9 assembly to hear these words. Instead, her friend, who happens to be gay, called her and divulged what Bond allegedly said. Other students who contacted the ACLU claim that the principal threatened any gay individuals who showed affection with one another with 60 days of suspensions, an assignment to an alternative school or -- expulsion.
The he said, she said has led to some major division in the community, as some residents are perplexed and angry with Bond, while other stand behind the principal.
One parent, Tony Snipes, said he was "outraged" when he heard about the comments. Additionally, he described the principal as a woman who has been controversial in the past. He went on to say that he does not believe she should be a principal in the school district any longer.
"A couple of years ago when she was principal over at Sunny Hill one of my children had his hair in braids," Snipes explained. "At an assembly she told the young men if they're sitting between the legs of a girl getting their hair braided for a few hours, that they must be gay."
But Jeff Hopper, another local resident, is backing Bond.
"I'm behind her, I'm behind her 100 percent," he said. "Whatever she said, she loves those kids. She taught them from the ground up; she has their best interest at heart."
The Haywood County School District confirmed, through a statement, that Bond was, indeed, talking about public displays of affection at the time that students claim she made the offensive remarks.
On March 1, the ACLU released a statement, condemning Bond and offering some quotes that differ somewhat from Whittiemore's friend's account of what Bond said to the students:
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Tennessee sent a letter to the superintendent of the Haywood County school district superintendent after receiving reports that a high school principal said gay students are “not on God’s path” and threatened to expel them if they publicly showed affection for members of the same sex. The letter was sent on behalf of several students and families at the school.
The ACLU also received reports that Haywood High School Principal Dorothy Bond not only made discriminatory remarks about LGBT people, but also told students that “life is over” for girls who became pregnant. [...]
The incident appears to be part of a broader pattern of official anti-gay remarks and policies by the principal, and of incorporating prayers and proselytizing into school events. On one occasion, school officials scolded students who did not bow their heads in prayer and threatened them with discipline. On another occasion, the principal told a lesbian student that she would go to “hell” because of her sexual orientation.
Following the uproar Bond, who has yet to publicly comment on the incident, resigned.