Several students disrupt "Ally Week" at suburban Chicago high school

Fri. November 12, 2010 5:43 PM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - Three students disrupted an anti-bullying initiative at a suburban Chicago high school this week by wearing "Straight Pride" T-shirts, which also quoted a Biblical passage advocating death as a punishment for homosexual activity.

St. Charles North High School, about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, had organized "Ally Week" in response to the recent string of suicides by gay teens. But three male students arrived on the first day with a completely different message, wearing T-shirts with a quotation from Leviticus: "If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to death."

"It was honestly just really upsetting to me that someone would try to bring that into school," Joe Adamczyk, a senior who is a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, told the Chicago Tribune. "I thought society was sort of beyond this, but it feels like we're kind of regressing."

School officials, who called this incident a "teachable moment" about sensitivity, asked the three students to cover the portion of the Biblical passage with permanent market and the students agreed.

"I was shocked," senior Jake Pezzuto told the Daily Herald. "There is clearly a double standard here, and we're really upset about this. They said the reason we can't wear 'Straight Pride' shirts is because they are disruptive. And I can understand how maybe some people were intimidated by the shirts with the Bible verse. But I don't understand how some students are able to wear 'Gay Pride' shirts while we can't wear shirts that just say 'Straight Pride.'"

None of the students face disciplinary action.

"Fellow classmates are saying gay people should be put to death because they are gay. Who wouldn't be offended," asked Michael Fairbanks, president of the St. Charles East Gay-Straight Alliance, in an e-mail sent to the media. "The quote on the back of the shirts were pretty much a death threat towards all of the gay and lesbian people at St. Charles North."