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Texas

Principal ends cosmetology program after perceived gay student enrolls

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas — The principal of the Beaumont Independent School District’s Taylor Career and Technology Center has cancelled the school’s Adult Cosmetology class that the center has offered for ten years rather than admit a student he perceived was gay, according to the program’s instructor.

Cequada Clark, who has headed the adult cosmetology program since 2009, said she first learned of Principal Thomas Amons’ aversion to gay men after they both attended a regional cosmetology hair competition last April.

Kwmane Gray

Clark claimed that Amons told her that he never wanted to see “flamboyantly gay guys” in her program like the men he saw enrolled at other programs competing in the event.

“I couldn’t believe it then; I kind of thought he was just venting at that time,” Clark said of what she labeled “an awkward encounter.”

The The Southeastern Texas Examiner reported that Amons — who is also a deacon at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church — encountered prospective student, 22-year-old Kwmane Gray, on the first day of classes Monday and confronted Clark, who related that, “[Amons] told me he would rather shut down the program altogether than to have ‘riff-raff’ like that in the program.”

“The next day, he shut down the program,” she said.

In an interview, Clark said that she was terminated Thursday by Amons, who told her, “We’ve decided to let you go. We don’t need your services anymore.”

The Examiner reported that Amons had consulted with a staff attorney for the Beaumont Independent School District who informed him that he couldn’t exclude (Gray) based on his sexual orientation, but that as the principal of the school, he could decide to no longer offer the program.

Clark said that the closing of the program has affected other students, in addition to Gray, adding that enrollment has steadily increased in the program since she started in 2009, jumping from two students to eight when the call came down to close the program.

Clark also serves as a pastor of a Groves church and owner of a local salon in Beaumont, and said she is heartbroken at the thought of students not being able to utilize the much-needed program any longer.

[...]

At the very least, I’d like to see Mr. Amons apologize to that young man and to allow those already entered in the program to finish their instruction to get licensed,” Clark said, adding that the right thing to do would be to continue the program and allow Gray to enter.

“The whole thing is just mind-blowing.”

“This is like a hate crime,” Gray told the Examiner. “He never even talked to me. He just judged me. I don’t know and I don’t care (why); I just don’t want him to be over any other kids and maybe do that to them, too. He can cause a lot of trouble for students like that.”

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32 more reader comments:

  1. Well…Texas.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:32pm
  2. fuck…

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:33pm
  3. Well you know what. Sue their ass off take all their money and enroll in another school that will appreciate their students

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:34pm
  4. Yep… that’s “TEXANS” for ya… bassackwards as they are!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:35pm
  5. Willing to take from everyone if it means he can discriminate against one. What a poor excuse for a human being.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:38pm
  6. This absolutely disgusts me. Any idiot knows exactly why the program was shut down. It’s not fair for some closed minded individual to affect the future of every individual attending that school.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:44pm
  7. Sue the bastard. It’s illegal for a school to discriminate against a student for any reason

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:45pm
  8. I was in Future Homemakers of America in HS and I’m gay. I musta slip through the cracks.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:46pm
  9. I’m just so damn tired of things like this happening.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:48pm
  10. im a texan yall and not all are like this. im a queer not a steer. race every where u go. just pray school finds out christ love all soon. can i get an amen please yall ?!?

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:49pm
  11. What will you accomplish by doing this O’ Wise Principal? Severe backlash and criticism. That’s what you accomplished and that’s what you’ll receive.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:51pm
  12. Gee…what’s the saying…If you build it they will come? Surely this guy’s seen enough movies and seen it other places that he has to know that you will get lots of gay people enrolled in a cosmetology program. I mean…c’mon!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:54pm
  13. Look…it may be Texas but I was born and raised here (yes, I’m gay) and I know for a fact that there’s many of us that do NOT think this way. I was pretty upset to hear about this since I live here but it doesn’t loop us all into one category so please just lay off that part of your hatred for one moment okay.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:54pm
  14. Well if you live and love to hate you will find a way to do i guess.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:56pm
  15. Most people’s references to Texas are based on the steady bigoted, hateful, and moronic actions and statements coming out of the State and Local governments.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:58pm
  16. In case anyone wants to send the school/principal a message:
    https://www.facebook.com/bmtisd

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8:59pm
  17. I hate seeing stuff like this…

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:02pm
  18. end the whole program???

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:03pm
  19. I’m Texan as well! It’s not all Texans, not by a long shot. As soon as I saw “Baptist…” there it was. They’re OBSESSED, especially the Southern Baptists! I hate to tell ol SparklePants, but the best cosmetologists and hair stylists I’ve ever patronized have just happened to have been Gay. So triple snap to you honey; this isnt over!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:09pm
  20. That hasn’t happened to my High school yet and thank god

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:14pm
  21. This really sucks!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:35pm
  22. BIGOT!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 1:32am
  23. The amount of stupidity packed into the brain of this principal is staggering.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 2:34am
  24. What A Bigot.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 3:23am
  25. They need to have Amons removed and fired….and then the church he goes to needs to shun him out…. Gray here in Ga Im openly gay and went to MGTC for cosmetology 07-08 with no problem and the staff and students were all amazing!!!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 3:49am
  26. And we wonder why parents and youth have little faith in the education system when bigotry still exist even among an administrator that is supposed to accept and respect diversity as well as encourage every student especially when they actually want to get an education. Bigotry among professionals should not be tolerated! I bet he will feel ashamed if he goes to get his haircut one day and realizes that this student is the one cutting his hair:-)

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 4:15am
  27. ah!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 4:56am
  28. Everyone who believes this is wrong should be willing to kick in some money for the legal fees to sue the school board if they dont fire the bigot. I promise 100 dollars to the student send me a msg where i can send the check and its sent

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 5:09am
  29. WTF is wrong with people?? When is it going to end!!?? What a sad world we live in!! :(

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 5:27am
  30. What next? Cooking class? or worse yet, gym class? the showers? Really?

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:53am
  31. Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia’s got to go !!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:17am
  32. Let him find another job and also he should remember when he didn’t like bigots.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:23am