Misery in Mississippi

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit in federal court today to stop pervasive anti-LGBT bullying and harassment committed by students – and even faculty members and administrators – within the schools of Mississippi’s Moss Point School District.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Destin Holmes, a district student who endured such severe harassment she was eventually driven out of school. She temporarily left the district in March 2012 to be homeschooled after the then-principal at Magnolia Junior High School called her a “pathetic fool” and told her, “I don’t want a dyke in this school.”

The principal. Not a classmate, but the principal. One who is supposed to have a fully developed prefrontal cortex, and thus supposed to be able to control sadistic impulses. (Also, one would think it would be part of the job description, however implicitly. “Calling the students names? Right out.”)

During her time at Magnolia Junior High School, students and district staff called Destin slurs such as “it,” “freak” and “he-she.” Destin heard such insults as many as 20 times a day. She also was denied access to the girls’ restroom by a teacher. Another teacher even refused to allow her to participate in a classroom activity where teams were divided by gender because Destin – according to the teacher – was an “in-between it.”

The lawsuit describes how Destin and other students perceived as LGBT were subjected to anti-LGBT slurs on a daily basis and were physically threatened or attacked by peers. While many of these abuses occurred in front of teachers or were reported to school officials, school personnel did little to stop the abuse.

The harassment took a severe toll on Destin. Even after she threatened suicide, school officials failed to take appropriate action. When a social worker providing mental health services for Destin met with the then-principal about the need to stop the harassment, the principal said he wouldn’t follow the social worker’s suggestions because “when you are in my school, you follow my lead since I allow you to be here.”

That principal seems to be confused. He seems to think he’s a dictator rather than a junior high school principal. Junion high principals don’t have as much arbitrary power as dictators have. This junior high principal doesn’t seem to know that.

Destin talks about it.



  1. resident_alien says

    How utterly reprehensible! They might as well have given her a yellow star to wear on her clothing at all times. That principal needs to be sacked and be made to pay damages to this young lady for the harm she has suffered. What a hateful, cruel piece of shit!

  2. hexidecima says

    “How the hell did he get to be a teacher with that sort of attitude??”

    First, teachers aren’t any different than the rest of humanity. Some are great, some are horrible.

    the culture approves of what he does down there. Such jackasses *want* such people teaching because it enforces the reprehensible culture.

  3. says

    Also, being a good teacher is not actually a requirement for being a good principal. Being a good person, however, is a requirement for both.

  4. stever says

    Them that can, do. Them that can’t, teach.
    Them that can’t teach, teach gym.
    Them that can’t teach gym become principals.

    Every principal is a little dictator. The best of them hide how much they enjoy it and try to be fair. The very worst of them wind up in prison for battery, extortion or rape. The majority of the bad ones get away with it for years, protected by unions and civil service law, and by the fact that no good teacher wants that job.

  5. Joe Z. says

    In some school districts, religious right groups have managed to push legislation that requires schools to remain “neutral” on the subject of homosexuality. The effect is that school officials’ hands are tied when addressing anti-LGBT bullying. They’re afraid that if they specifically call out such bullying they’ll be drowned by a deluge of lawsuits for violating their “neutrality” and showing inappropriate approval for homosexuality. I wonder if the pushers of said “neutrality” will show any concern over this school’s clear declaration of antagonism toward LGBT students.

  6. Shatterface says

    Expect Minow to come along soon and explain why it’s okay to exclude ‘dykes’ from this particular school so long as there’s an equally good school for lesbians just across the road.

  7. deepak shetty says

    Them that can, do. Them that can’t, teach.
    While I know it is meant as a joke , this statement/quote infuriates me no end … and its mostly made by people who have never attempted to teach.

  8. Joe Z. says

    @deepak shetty:

    While I know it is meant as a joke , this statement/quote infuriates me no end … and its mostly made by people who have never attempted to teach.

    Too fucking right.

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