The principal of Georgia’s Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School was caught on video stabbing a bouquet of rainbow balloons that were sent in support of a student whose LGBTQ artwork had been taken down by school officials, who compared it to a Nazi flag.
The balloons were reportedly sent directly to Principal Bipul Singh and Vice Principal Sandra Scott with a note proclaiming, “GAY IS OK,” the same message that was displayed on the student’s banned rainbow art work.
Surveillance video shows Singh discovering the balloons, grabbing a scissors from a nearby desk, and popping several of them, before walking out of the shot. He then returns and methodically pops the rest.
Last month, parents and teachers spoke out after administrators at the school took the student’s rainbow art down from a classroom display because a parent reportedly complained.
Parents say the administrator who removed the artwork told the teacher it was similar to hanging a Nazi flag. They also said it wasn’t the first time the school has had issues with discrimination.
“There are ongoing complaints about this current administration being discriminatory against women, being discriminatory against LGBTQ people, being discriminatory against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, emerging multilingual and Spanish speakers,” said parent Jemelleh Coes. “So we have seen a pattern of inequity at our school and we have been asking for support at this point for years.”
School administrators did confirm that a comparison was made between the student’s art and Nazi symbolism. Nevertheless, they also claimed that the art was taken down to prevent the student from being bullied and not because they were unsupportive of LGBTQ identities, Online Athens reported.
A Change.org petition calling for the removal of Principal Singh and Vice Principal Scott from their positions has reached almost 1,500 signatures. The petition also alleges it was Scott who compared the artwork to Nazi symbolism, and says Singh defended her when the teacher complained.
Jeff Jackson, an attorney representing a family involved in the incident, has also called for Scott and Singh’s removal. Jackson has not yet brought legal action against the school and is reportedly trying to resolve the situation outside of court.