Students: Comments made over loudspeaker disparaging to gays

Published: Jan. 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2014 at 3:13 PM CST
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Students said the announcements were made over the loudspeaker Thursday morning.
Students said the announcements were made over the loudspeaker Thursday morning.

FYFFE, AL (WAFF) - Monday morning, students in Fyffe brought their concerns to the principal about announcements made over the loudspeaker they said were disparaging to gays.

According to Fyffe High School Principal Ricky Bryant, the Student Government Association makes an announcement over the loudspeaker each morning to start the day with positive words of encouragement.

Bryant said that on Thursday, the SGA president who makes the announcements was out and that another student made the announcement.

Students said the young man made references to gay people, suggesting they should not come out of the closet, but rather stay in and clean it up.

One student in particular felt the words were hurtful and took the comments personally. "My whole class just laughed and looked at me and put their hands over their mouths, and I kind of felt pointed out in a way. That whole day I just felt like people were telling me that I was living my life wrong because I am bisexual," said Makayla Rangel.

Salem Baker agreed with Rangel. "I was very offended and I thought it was very immoral of him to say that and wrong for everyone to hear that and him just bash everyone that didn't believe the way he believed," he said.

Paul Long, the father of the student who made the comments is a pastor, and said his son is strong in his beliefs and the word of God cannot be changed to suit a lifestyle.

"Our stance is we stand on the scriptures and they teach us that there is a right and a wrong way. We in no way hate anybody. We always show love and for us, to tell the truth is to show the ultimate love," said Long.

Salem Baker's father Scotty feels school is not the appropriate venue. "I want my kids to go there and actually get an education. I'm sure a lot of these parents would have an issue if it was a Muslim and a Koran or something like that. Let's remove the religion from it, where the kids can get the education, and let the parents teach the children about theology and what they believe," Scotty said.

According to Bryant, the announcements are usually screened before the student reads them, but in this case the SGA teacher sponsor was absent.

Bryant said he regrets that they didn't screen what the student was going to say and that from now on, the morning inspiration will be screened before the student speaks.

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