September 23, 2020

Alabama school leader apologizes for teens yelling homophobic slurs

The superintendent of an Alabama school district issued an apology after a group of high school baseball players shouted homophobic slurs at a same-sex couple.

Students on the James Clemens High School baseball team drove by the home of Colin Tomblin and his partner, Jason, on Friday and yelled out homophobic slurs, according to Tomblin who posted a video of the incident on Facebook.

Tomblin said he didn’t know the kids, nor did the couple do anything to warrant the harassment.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker apologized to the couple Wednesday, news outlets reported.

Parker said high school Principal Brian Clayton spoke to the students immediately and said the incident is something the district doesn’t condone.

Madison City Schools spokesman John Peck said the school system values and teaches “respect and acceptance” through all grade levels.

“Behavior contrary to what is expected by Madison City Schools is regrettable and not a reflection of who we are as a school system,” Peck said.

Tomblin said he was concerned about how students and especially LGBTQ students are treated by their classmates.

“This is 2020 and behavior like this should not be tolerated,” Tomblin wrote on Facebook. “If your kids do this to random strangers, imagine what they’re doing to their classmates and others. This bullying type behavior is exactly why kids are committing suicide.”

Tomblin said he appreciated the school’s response and hope this brings positive change and awareness to potential bullying.

It’s unclear whether the students faced any form of punishment.

Madison is in northern Alabama near Huntsville.