Friday, May 1, 2009

Kentucky Equality Federation supports gay and lesbian students' protest at Franklin County High School

Kentucky Equality Federation received reports that a Franklin County High official allegedly sent an email to teachers instructing them not to allow homosexuals to leave class to use the restroom.

The email was allegedly sent after two female classmates were caught kissing in the public restroom.

In response, 15 students protested outside the school today.

"My daughter was involved in a protest at Franklin County High School today for their right to use the restroom," stated Michelle Sexton.

"I have been in contact with one of the parents of the children involved in the protest and we support their constitutional right to assemble peacefully," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. "We call on the media to investigate this issue further and shed light on the discrimination gays and lesbians face throughout the Commonwealth. Kentucky Equality Federation will also be contacting the other parents of the children involved in today's protest."

Though Superintendent Harrie Buecker stated steps are being taken to address the students' concerns, Kentucky Equality Federation is concerned they will not be addressed properly. Though not directly connected, Kentucky Equality Federation has received similar complaints in Casey, Pulaski, and Powell counties about unfair treatment of gay and lesbian students and teachers.

"I'd like to know what level this mentality, that gay and lesbian students should not be treated equally is coming from. An incident in one county could be called an isolated incident, but we now have similar reports in three other Kentucky Counties," stated Kentucky Equality Federation Managing Director Laura Reed.

Kentucky Equality Federation will continue its own investigation and assist parents or students in filing any necessary complaints with Kentucky officials.

Palmer added that assembling together in a peaceful manner is the most basic right granted by the Kentucky Constitution, and that Kentucky Equality Federation had contacted the Office of Helen W. Mountjoy, Kentucky's Secretary of Education for assistance in resolving the issues.

Kentucky Equality Federation offers an online complaint system for people around the Commonwealth to report discrimination or harassment. The online complaint system can be located at