A potential case of LGBT discrimination allegedly took place on a Massachusetts high school campus.
Marissa Farias posted about an incident on Facebook in which a culinary arts teacher at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School purportedly made anti-LGBT remarks toward her openly gay 16-year-old brother, Joshua.
“He was working on a gingerbread house, he was using really cool colors,” Marissa told local reporters. “He was really proud of his work with his friend. And when the chef saw it, he said, ‘Don’t be surprised if this is in the trash tomorrow.’”
“If you feel the need to express yourself and your diversity, we have clubs for that,” the chef allegedly added."
"Marissa’s post picked up steam and eventually got back to the school administration, which has come out to denounce the siblings’ account of what occurred, calling the entire incident a result of “miscommunication.”
“I think that when things are taken out of context, things can be misconstrued,” Superintendent Thomas Aubin said of the ordeal.
In a radio interview, Aubin even went as far as to call Marissa’s Facebook post “disgusting.”
"It is a complete falsehood and fabrication,” the superintendent asserted. “On a personal level, we think it is disgusting that somebody would take somebody like Chef Coulombe’s image and put it on the internet when he’s had a history of tolerance and inclusion. Our feelings are hurt about it. We are so insulted by [the accusation]… it is disgusting.”
Joshua, who was purportedly on the receiving end of Coulombe’s discriminatory comments, said Aubin’s remarks made him break down in tears.
“For [the school] to just say straight out that me, my sister, and my friend were lying…without even talking to me… was crazy,” Joshua said. “They claimed we are liars.”
RawStory noted that following the controversy, the rainbow gingerbread house is now on display in the school’s restaurant.
Whether or not the teacher’s comments were taken out of context, the subject matter surrounding the incident is very sensitive and should have been handled as such by the school.
The superintendent has a right to stand by his colleague, but his remarks about the students’ claims in the radio interview seemed very harsh and condescending.
Joshua’s family is seeking an apology, which they absolutely should receive because — purposefully or not — Coulombe’s words were clearly hurtful.
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