Haywood County High School’s principal has resigned after a national civil rights organization said she made anti-LGBT remarks and threatened to expel gay students.
A statement released by the Haywood County School Board’s law firm, Purcell, Sellers & Craig Inc., said Principal Dorothy Bond tendered her resignation Thursday.
“The Haywood County Board of Education acknowledges its student body’s right to free speech,” the board said in the statement. “Further, the Haywood County Board of Education strives to provide an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity while maintaining high academic standards.”
Earlier on Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Tennessee sent a letter “on behalf of several students and families at the school” to Haywood County Schools Superintendent Marlon King, asking the district to take action.
After school officials announced Bond’s resignation, the ACLU issued another statement praising the school district. “Haywood County School District’s swift action makes it clear that they do not condone the type of harassment and targeted discrimination that was taking place at the high school,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “We applaud the Haywood County School District for affirming students’ right to be who they are and to be free from bullying by school leadership.”
Bond and King could not be reached for comment Thursday.
In the news release earlier Thursday, the ACLU said it had received reports from parents and students that during a school assembly, Bond said “gay students are ‘not on God’s path’ and threatened to expel them if they publicly showed affection for members of the same sex.”
West Tennessee residents reacted to the news in a variety of ways.