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Is This Oklahoma High School Trying to Keep Lesbian Students From Graduating?

How is Del City High School in Oklahoma handling its lesbian students? By trying to keep them from graduating, claim a group of former students. Kelsey Hicks says Gina Hill (pictured, below), the principal at the Del City public school, told her to drop out and get a GED, since being gay means she’s “not going to do anything with your life.” Then there’s Melissa McKenzie, who says Hill pushed her out at the beginning of the term after learning McKenzie she lives with her girlfriend; only if she returned to living with her family would she be allowed back at the school. Both students, who are 18, say they were first removed from the softball team because they are gay. Update: Or maybe the girls are just big bullies.

It’s a lovely example of gay students facing school bullying not from classmates, but from the administrators responsible for … oh, what is it they do again? Ensure kids have access to a worthwhile education?

 

[Note: While Hill's name is not mentioned in the news report, she is listed as the current principal of the school. You can call her at 405-677-5777 ext. 129, or email her at ghill@mid-del.k12.ok.us. Update: As one commenter notes, the principal in question might refer to John Benardello (pictured at right), the assistant principal for seniors, whose name was removed from the school's website. His extension is 128 and his email is jbenardello@mid-del.k12.ok.us.]

UPDATE: Another side to the story: The two students are liars who have a “long history of troublemaking and bullying.”

[Oklahoma News 9]

By:           Max Simon
On:           Nov 15, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 20 Comments
    • AnonAmn
      AnonAmn

      I think its funny they pulled the 1st Asst Principal’s name from the website and added a blurb at the bottom directing people with civil rights complaints to the Asst Superintendent.

      While Gina Hill is the overall Principal at the school, judging from the interviews where the girls kept saying “he”. I would say our mysterious 1st Asst is the real culprit. And they haven’t pulled his email yet: jbenardello@mid-del.k12.ok.us

      Nov 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJones
      DJones

      I called and spoke to the Principal today. I left a very nice message explaining I am a gay 49 year old male in a 22 year relationship and how I was so disappointed in this story. I left my phone number. I received a call back from the Principal in 10 minutes time and had a very nice talk with her. She stated out of over 75 calls I was the only one who left my phone number. Com on people. If your going to complain about something leave a phone number so the person can respond. I had a very nice chat with her and the story is not completely true. She has children of her own and she was very nice on the phone with me. She said she welcomed all students and wish she had a way to respond to people. She even said she has gotten death threats. We can do better than this people. If you call her and leave your phone number she said she would return all calls and would be happy to talk with anyone regarding this false story. Dave

      Nov 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      So what’s the real story?

      Nov 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      If you graduate a school, that means you’ve painted a series of horizontal lines up the side of the building. Graduating FROM school, well that’s a different matter.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve [Different person #1 using similar name]

      I sent this to the principle:

      Re: Bullying of gay and lesbian students

      I saw a news report that you have allowed your staff to bully gay and lesbian students, including denying them the possibility of graduating from your school. Such bullying is reprehensible. If that new report is true, I would expect you to resign, or to fire the staff person who did this without your approval.

      Please do not wait until one of your students commits suicide, before you begin to make a positive change. I am sure you would not want any of your students blood to be on your hands.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mad John
      Mad John

      Kevin @#4, you’re a pedantic little twit – but I laughed at that.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mulletkitty
      mulletkitty

      Before you leave a phone number and essentially an internet pile on call, do your research on this story.

      The posts in the Del City newspaper are full of testimony by gay kids, kids with gay friends, and parents of gay kids at this school who dispute these students account.

      I am not saying don’t report — but REPORT — get the school to respond in some depth before asking your readers to pile on.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • obiwan
      obiwan

      So much for fundamentalism in Oklahoma and its most enlightened populace. It is deplorable the prejudice that the young lady heard from that bigoted principle, but the principle can’t be totally to blame for repeating the statements she has heard at her fundamentalist church. She is only repeating what she feels is the most intelligent information from the pastor, whose words must be from God.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • obiwan
      obiwan

      Sorry for the last comment. I did not get the whole story.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • T
      T

      People might also want to complaint to:

      U.S. Department of Education
      Office for Civil Rights
      Telephone: 1-800-421-3481

      The OCR can investigate and unfavorable reports may interfere with a school’s ability to qualify for federal funding. That will get the school district’s attention quickly.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      Something doesn’t add up here as others are mentioning…

      We have girls dropping out of school.

      One moves in with her girlfriend, but conveniently neglects to mention where her girlfriend lives. In the district? Out of the district? And many school s require students to live with a parent or legal guardian, which she is not.

      How are/were their grades? Are they academically eligible to graduate or participate in extra-curricular aactivities? In some cases, based on truancy and poor grades and dropping out, school districts will encourage students to pursue GEDs rather than re-enroll in classes, especially once they’ve reached the age of majority. And how long have these girls been out of school, that will impact the decision to let them back in as well.

      There are a lot of unanswered questions which could poke an awful lot of holes in the cries of “discrimination”.

      Nov 15, 2010 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt Munson
      Matt Munson

      We should deny federal funding to Oklahoma schools if they discriminate.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • larrygreen
      larrygreen

      I am so disillusioned with the hypocrisy and ignorance rampant on all levels of our society. When are we going to grow up?

      Nov 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      Be careful with the whitewashing these people are putting out. So she’s found some gays that will vouch for her, of course her story is true! These kids probably just took up for this bigot for fear of receiving the same treatment, if they even are gay, or if they even exist which we have seen no evidence of. I hope the school gets taken for every cent they have and the principal is fired and led into financial and social ruin.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • richard
      richard

      hey i actually went to del city with the girl they’re talking about… she got kicked out cause she’s a trouble maker and does drugs.. its her own fault, del city high is a gay friendly place.. believe me. she just wants attention.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • richard
      richard

      can you take this story down?? its not only giving my school a bad name for something that isn’t even true, but also giving this girl everything she wanted, which is attention. i would totally stand behind her if i thought any of this was the truth, but knowing her and her character, and the staff at my old school, i can tell you that her story is bullshit.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Craig
      Craig

      I emailed the principle and asked if they discriminated against lesbians.

      She replied:

      No, it is not true. I appreciate you asking instead of assuming. Whenever students come to us with any allegations of bullying or discrimination of any kind, we investigate it and deal with it. This recent news story was false and one sided. These girls are welcome back as long as they still live in our attendance area.
      Thank you.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJH
      DJH

      This story is bullshit. I know of many gays, OPEN gays, that have graduated from Del City High School.
      I graduated with the class of 2010.
      That girl was a druggie, a trouble maker, and her grades sucked ass.
      Same goes for her friend. They were pretty much always late to class, etc.
      This whole story is just an attention grabber.
      News needs something else to talk about.
      Rubbish.

      Nov 17, 2010 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      @DJH: Doesn’t make her story false, even if you are to be believed. Sorry your high school is such an embarrassment.

      Nov 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatevah
      whatevah

      I can’t believe I’m reading a story on queerty about someone I know. Gina Hill is a decent fair minded person and I don’t believe she wouldn’t let the girl back in because she is living with her girlfriend. Probably more like it would be an out-of-district transfer which are very tricky to get anymore because everyone wants to be in the Mid-Del schools.

      Nov 20, 2010 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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