High school students holding the kickoff meeting of their new Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) — a student-run organization devoted to support and social justice — say they were harassed by confrontational “straight kids.”
After the parent of a student attending the meeting at Frontier High School in Bakersfield, Calif., shared about the Aug. 28 incident on Facebook, 23ABC reported on the situation, which allegedly involved the interlopers entering the meeting, holding hands and shouting “This is what’s right!” They reportedly held “Make America Great Again” flags, as well, and shouted homophobic slurs.
According to the parent, which 23ABC does not name, there has been ongoing tension between some members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), a non-partisan group that promotes agricultural education, and anyone they consider to be "liberal.”
"The gay community there is apparently the one they've decided to mess with," the parent wrote.
However, one FFA member, a high school senior identified as Matthew by the station, said that he and his friends attended the meeting out of "curiosity," and that a member of the GSA instigated the conflict.
"When we walked inside, we could immediately tell people did not want us there,” Matthew said. He added that the resulting argument outside of the school building involved both sides. “We were all screaming and yelling at each other."
"If you have an opinion that people don't agree with, you get hated on," Matthew said. He informed the station that he and others in his group were suspended for "harassment, intimidation and sexual assault."
While Frontier High School and the Kern County School District did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, they provided the following statement to 23ABC: "The Kern High School District and Frontier High School recognize that students have varying viewpoints and opinions. One of the goals of the educational process is to teach students how to communicate respectfully. The reported incident that occurred on Wednesday afternoon at Frontier High School is currently being investigated. Once the investigation is complete, appropriate follow-up measures will be taken."
The Frontier High School chapter of the FFA has also spoken out about the incident on its Facebook page, stating that the actions of the members involved were "in no ways organized, supported, nor defended by the Frontier FFA Chapter, its advisors or its membership."
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