Sunday, October 9, 2011

Principal Attacks Student In Tennessee Over A T-Shirt.

The disgusting t-shirt in question.
Just look at it... so tacky.

On September 27th and 30th, Chris Sigler wore the above t-shirt to Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee in an effort to show his support for the Gay Straight Alliance there.  Not that one exists.

Sigler has tried since early August to create a G.S.A. at Sequoyah, but Principal Maurice Moser has blocked every effort.  When Sigler put forth a petition with more than 150 signatures, Moser banned petitions about the G.S.A.  Sigler then put forward an application with the Federally driven Equal Access Act in mind.  Moser told Sigler that he needed to have someone in the school's faculty that was willing to sponsor the club.  At the time, Sigler had, in fact, three faculty members that had expressed interest in doing just that, but when Moser found this out, a behind closed doors meeting took place, and the three members left feeling not so interested in playing sponsor.

So Chris Sigler took a white t-shirt and wrote "Gay Straight Alliance: We've Got Your Back" on it in black marker (pun alert - it was written on the back of the shirt!).  In big letters, he wrote "GSA" down the front of it.

Wearing it on Tuesday the 27th probably pissed Moser off quite a bit, but he somehow managed to get through the day without hulking out and killing his office staff.  When Sigler wore it again that Friday, Moser approached him and gave him the following ultimatum: "You are either going to change your shirt, turn it inside out, or call your mother."  Hey, free grammar lesson for you, Moser!  When you say "either," you are only supposed to give a choice between two things, not three.

So what did Sigler do?  Well, he felt as though it was his right to wear the shirt (it was), and decided to call his mother who, after having the situation explained to her, clearly didn't give a fuck.  What a champ.  Sigler returned to class, having done what Moser asked.  Unfortunately, Moser's sense of humor was broken not too long after he was born, so the smart-assery of Sigler's actions went right over the principal's head.

Maurice Moser.
(Visual Approximation)

Chris went to economics class to take a test, joined by his sister Jessica.  About halfway through the period, Moser stormed into the classroom, ordered everyone to leave except for Sigler, and then grabbed him by the shirt.  Jessica stayed with her brother, and witnessed the entire thing.  "Moser was inches away from [Chris's] face, taunting him like he wanted him to fight," she said.  Chris said that Moser "grabbed me by the shirt.  When I tried to walk away, he pushed me back [into the wall]."

The whole episode ended when Linda Sigler showed up and told Moser to step away from her son.  The Sigler's filed a police report against Moser's disgusting behavior not too long after that.  So what does the school department have to say?

"The Monroe County School System is aware of the alleged accusations. We have received written statements from all eyewitnesses. Our documentation clearly indicates that there are always two sides to every story.  We'll gladly provide more information as it becomes available."

Oh, fantastic.  Scientific evidence, from the Monroe County School System itself, that stories do, in fact, always have two sides.  Let the age of reason begin.  

What's sad is that, from my experience, a student's accusation is worth a lot of weight when it comes to things like this.  Had something this incident happened at my high school, the principal would have been suspended on the spot pending an investigation, and then fired before the weekend was over.  By the way, my high school had/has a G.S.A.

Chris Sigler has a very worthy goal.  He wants to create a safe place for gay, straight, bisexual, and transgendered students to sit down and have conversations.  He wants to do this because a lot of his friends are gay, and have suffered a lot of abuse for it - enough to contemplate suicide.  According to another senior at Sequoyah, students would yell from across the room that "God hates gays" and even call Sigler a pussy, a fag, and a queer just because he supports his friends.

And for anyone that thinks Sigler's shirt violated the school dress code, think again.  In 1969, a ruling by the Supreme Court said that students were allowed to express themselves however they wanted as long as it didn't cause a substantial disruption.  If only one person is "disrupted," it isn't substantial, even if it is the principal.

For more on this, check out the official ACLU response, or the local WATE news story - complete with video.  Heads up, though: Chris Sigler looks like the grown up version of the creepy little boy from Mad Men, complete with a very, very sad mustache.


1 comment:

Teen said...

This kid is seriously awesome!