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Principal Maurice Moser assaults student over t-shirt at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee

October 20, 2011

“A lot of kids get harassed at our school because they’re gay or they have gay friends, and we just want a space where we can all support each other and do something positive,” Sigler said Wednesday, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is assisting Sigler and other students form GSA

On Sept. 27, Sigler wore the shirt in protest. He was told to cover up the shirt, but two days later he wore the shirt again.

That’s when Principal Maurice Moser came to Sigler’s economic class in the middle of an exam, and demanded that all other students leave the room, he said. Sigler’s sister Jessica refused to leave. Both siblings said Moser grabbed Chris’s arm, shoved him against a wall, and chest-bumped him several times, while asking, “Who’s the big man now?” The attack ended when Sigler’s mother arrived at the school to find Moser leaning over her son, shouting in his face. Moser eventually agreed not to formally suspend Chris, stipulating that the student leave the school grounds for the remainder of the day.

Dear Mr. Moser,

You’re not setting a very good example by using physical and violent force on someone.  I understand you’re frustrated when these students are not listening to your rules.  How about another tactic such as sitting them down and talking calmly with them on why you’re setting these rules?  You know as well as I do that were in the middle of a great struggle between two different groups.  One half of them want everyone to respect others regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or interests and the other half want to be free to assault those they disagree with.   I don’t think there is any question by a reasonable thinking man which one you should go with, but you chose the other group.  When you assaulted this student, what kind of example did you think that was going to set by overreacting?  You’re in a position to ensure that everyone at your school is protected and treated with respect.  This is not happening.  This is why that petition was going around in the first place and why that student was wearing the t-shirt, which is a harmless t-shirt.  Young people need to be able to express themselves and not suppress their creativity and their feelings through productive means, not violent means like bullying.  You’re telling them they’re not allowed to be who they are.  This is our future and you have a responsibility to rule the school with ethics and compassion. Whether you like it or not, we are in crises mode because some people have different views and just don’t like others that are not like them.  Well too bad, get over it and get along NOW.



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