Ruth Beal graduated from West Lincoln High School in 2014 but said she is still haunted by what happened during her senior year.
Beal, who now attends UNC Greensboro, said she and other students tried for several years to win approval for a Gay Straight Alliance club. Finally, they got the go-ahead. They put up posters announcing their first meeting.
Other students ripped them down.
Some students substituted different posters for the GSA posters, she said, including a “Straights Only” poster in the bathroom and a large poster in the lobby proclaiming: “Faggots aren’t allowed at West Lincoln.” Beal said some students wrote Bible verses on their shirts with puffy paint. Some scattered notebook paper around the school with the word “Gay” and an “X” through the middle.
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On the day of the meeting, she said, the spirit rock outside was painted with “Baggin’ the fags,” a reference to body bags.
The vitriol continued online with messages and posts (including misspellings and grammatical mistakes):
“I think we got our message acrost to these freaks we ant gone except fagits quires homosexuals lesbions.”
“How they gunna support a dam gay club and we can’t bring a bible and read it or wear a revel flag on a shirt to school the way I see it God made Adam and eve not Adam and Steve.”
“The Gay club does not need to be associated with West Lincoln. You don’t like the way WL is, then move to a different school.”
Contacted by the Observer, Principal Brian Clary said in an email response: “We have not had any other incidences besides three posters being ripped down in 2014. Our GSA club is still a club at the high school. Our guidance counselors have started several programs, especially with our ninth graders, to help with the new experience of entering high school. We also have a bullying committee made up of teachers and staff that meets once a month.”