Maurice Moser, the principal of Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee, allegedly shoved and repeatedly chest-bumped a 17-year-old student while asking, “Who’s the big man now?” after the student wore a T-shirt proclaiming his support for a gay-straight student alliance at the school.
The ACLU of Tennessee writes that Moser became enraged after the student wore the T-shirt—meant as statement against bullying—for the second day in a week. The ACLU is assisting the student, Chris Sigler, and several of his classmates in organizing a Gay-Straight Alliance at Sequoyah, despite previous threats by Moser to punish anyone supporting such a group.
According to the ACLU:
Sigler says that Moser then ordered all students out of the classroom, except for Sigler’s sister Jessica, who refused to leave. According to both students, Moser then grabbed Sigler’s arm, shoved him, and chest-bumped him repeatedly while asking “Who’s the big man now?” Sigler’s mother reported that when she arrived at the school, she saw her son seated in a desk with Moser leaning over him and shouting in Sigler’s face. The Siglers filed a report about the incident that afternoon with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.
“All I want is to have a GSA at my school to help stop the bullying against gays and lesbians and their friends who support them,” Sigler said. “The shirt was a way to use my voice and show my support for the club. The way I was treated shows even more why we need a GSA here.”
You can view a copy of the ACLU’s letter to the school district demanding that Sigler’s right to free speech be respected at the ACLU website.
And in case you want to give Moser and the school a piece of your mind, their contact information is below:
Maurice Moser, Principal firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhonda Sarshuri, Assistant Principal email@example.com
WBIR in Knoxville filed this report on the situation at Sequoyah High School: