Did Pa. high school students hold flannel-wearing ‘anti-gay’ event?

A group of eight teen boys at a high school outside Pittsburgh reportedly organized an anti-gay event at their school last week, one day after the school held a “Day of Silence” event.

The students at McGuffey High School in Claysville, Pa. have been alleged to have worn all flannel, written Bible verses on other students’ lockers, written “anti-gay” on their hands, hung a noose on a teacher’s doorknob, and used gay slurs at some students, Buzzfeed reported.

Images of the teens participating while smiling were posted on social media.

The McGuffey School District is investigating allegations that the anti-gay event occurred but did not confirm it happened.

In a statement sent to Buzzfeed the School District said it had no evidence of physical harassment during the “anti-gay” day or that a rumored “lynch list,” written by the anti-gay students, actually existed.

The “anti-gay” event reportedly took place on Thursday, April 16, one day after the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance held a Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network-sponsored (GLSEN) “Day of Silence.”

On Friday, the students reportedly continued their “anti-gay” event by wearing orange shirts.

Twenty kids participated, according to local TV station WPXI.

On Monday pro-gay students held picket signs outside the school to protest the school’s “inaction” regarding the incident, WPXI reported.

But a local pastor and anti-bullying activist defended the “anti-gay” kids, saying they are also facing bullying and that they are misunderstood.

“They understand that their message got lost with the cross and the word anti-gay. We talked about better ways to share their faith in a loving and kind way,” pastor Mike Matthews told WPXI. “I told them no more counter-protests and no more orange shirts — be who you are and show your faith … They have promised me they’re going to do that.”

Pa. state rep. Brian Sims responded to the story Monday on his Facebook page with the joke: “In unrelated news: ‘Local High Schoolers Organize Closeted, Self-Hating, Gay Bears Meet-Up!’” and said “Stupid, ignorant people do stupid, ignorant things.”

“In truth, this kind of hatred is aimed at doing only one thing: intimidating others,” Sims’ statement continued. This is the definition of domestic terrorism, certainly bullying, and even more reason I work with other advocates every day to pass anti-bullying and non-discrimination laws in the Commonwealth! Tell your legislator to co-Sponsor HB 300 and HB 156.”

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