WINFIELD, W.Va. — A West Virginia high school has abruptly reversed course, and now has a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
The Charleston Gazette reports that Putnam County Schools spokeswoman Rudi Raynes said the Winfield Hight School GSA was created Monday, despite Principal Bruce McGrew’s assertion last week that allowing such a group would promote bullying of LGBT students instead of preventing it.
“We are not going to violate any students’ civil rights by any means. There are a number of clubs where students get to express their personal beliefs, and if that’s one of those beliefs, that’s totally understandable,” Raynes said. “We are not going to discriminate against any students.”
Last week, McGrew said that no teachers were interested in sponsoring such a group.
When asked if he would allow an LGBT student support club at the school if a teacher did offer to chaperone, McGrew said he would “rather not answer that.”
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“If you bring attention to that sort of thing, it’s going to create bullying,” McGrew said. “It would bring more problems to the issue of bullying and so forth if it were to occur. Our job is to protect all kids from that.”
Winfield student Jamie Herman was one of the students to approach McGrew about starting the club, and said she knew of at least three teachers who were willing to sponsor a GSA.
After McGrew’s remarks became public, several Winfield High students and parents told the Gazette on Monday that a handful of teachers had offered to lead the club.