- Haywood High School Principal Dorothy Bond resigned
- Bond is accused of making “anti-gay” comments
- Many students want her to return
(Brownsville, TN 3/2/2012) A day after their school principal resigned, about 300 students gathered in the Haywood High School cafeteria for a peaceful protest in support of Dorothy Bond. Bond resigned under a cloud of controversy after she was accused of making “anti-gay” remarks.
“Some say they don’t agree with the comments she made, some do. I do personally,” said Haywood High Freshman Bryce Young.
“She’s just teaching us life. That’s how I feel about it and I really agree with her,” said Haywood High Senior Errick Wilson.
Bond apparently told students during a February assembly that gay students were “not on God’s path,” and threatened to expel them if they publicly showed affection for members of the same sex. She is also accused of saying “life is over” for girls who got pregnant.
“She did say something about gays and homos, but she didn’t mean to offend anybody. They twisted her words around,” Wilson said.
Several Haywood students contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, prompting national attention. The organization fired back at the school district saying, “students should never be made to feel like they are unwelcome at their own school, especially by school leadership.”
The ACLU says Bond’s comments appear to be part of a broader pattern of anti-gay remarks. It says on another occasion, the principal told a lesbian student that she would go to hell because of her sexual orientation.
Disagreement over the issue has people in Brownsville talking, about Bond’s messge and the timing.
“It’s not so much that the comment is wrong, but the time and place that matters,” said Cassandra Flagg, a Haywood High School parent.
“Part of the reason America was founded was freedom, freedom to make choices,” said Brownsville resident Paula Lara. “It’s okay to have beliefs, but you can’t force them on other people. Even though these are minors, you still can’t force it. You have to control yourself and let them make their own decision.”
The Haywood County School District issued this statement: “Dorothy Bond has tendered her resignation as principal of Haywood High School. The Haywood County Board of Education acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech. Further, the Haywood County Board of Education strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards.”