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In Response to Anti-Gay Flyers, Wy. School Bans Students from Wearing LGBTQ Clothing

Tuesday Apr 23, 2019

In response to finding anti-gay flyers around McCormick Junior High in Cheyenne, Wy., administrators have decided to ban all things LGBTQ related, including rainbow Pride flags and clothing, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

The newspaper reports students and parents claim that students who are in the school's Gay Straight Alliance were told last week they were no longer to have or wear any LGBTQ clothing and paraphernalia on school grounds.

The move comes after anti-gay flyers were found at the school last month. The papers reportedly read, "It's great to be straight it's not OK to be gay," "Black lives only matter because if it weren't for them who would pick our cotton," and "Join the KKK" with "the confederate kid club."

Ashlynn Kercher, an eighth-grade member of McCormick's GSA, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that about 20-25 GSA members were called out of class last week and sent to a room with three faculty members, including the current GSA sponsor. They told the students they can no longer wear rainbow flags, including pins and bracelets.

"They told us it was a school distraction and 'You don't want to make other people feel like you felt when you saw the posters,' " Kercher told the newspaper, adding that if they were violating the rule they'd be written up for dress code violations which can result in a suspension.

Emily Fowler, whose daughter is a member of the school's GSA, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that she was told the same.

"She said 'they told us we weren't allowed to wear anything LGBTQ related,' " Fowler said.

Jeff Conine, McCormick's principal, told the newspaper he was unaware of the meeting and didn't make any decisions about the issue, however.

"It didn't come from this administration," he said.

Nevertheless, Ashlynn Kercher's mother, Abby Kercher, said she spoke with the district's Title IX coordinator, John Balow, who is heading the ongoing investigation into the school's racist and anti-gay flyers. She told the newspaper Balow told her that he and Conine made the deciding to ban the LGBTQ clothing and flags together, but Conine said he was not aware of this.

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