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Kilgore High School, Where Outing Gay Students To Parents Is ‘The Right Way’ To Do Things

Wisely, Cassie Newell — the high school softball coach at Kilgore High School in Texas who’s accused of bullying and then outing lesbian player Skye Wyatt, 17 — has privatized her Twitter account. Faced with a lawsuit claiming she criminally invaded the privacy of Wyatt, Newell (pictured) suddenly finds herself on the other end of things, with the media (including Queerty) quite interested in her life. Especially the part where she, and fellow coach Rhonda Fletcher, allegedly screamed at Wyatt in the locker room, accusing her of dating one of Newell’s supposed exes, and that if she didn’t “stop lying” Newell would sue her for slander. Named in the lawsuit are both coaches and assistant athletic director Douglas Duke (for improperly training his staffers), with claims of violating Skye’s Fourteenth and Fourth Amendment rights, for breaching her privacy by disclosing her sexual orientation and forcing her to remain in the locker room to receive their verbal lashing.

And yet superintendent Jody Clements (pictured, bottom) remains adamant the coaches did the appropriate thing — which included outing Skye to her mother Barbara — saying, “We feel confident we handled it the right way. But that’s why there is a legal system. We’ll proceed and let the courts decide what was right.”

Skye — to put it bluntly — disagrees completely. “If this event had not happened, I would never have told her – never,” says Skye about her forced coming out. “I would have snuck around. Even if I had gotten caught, I would have denied it. For a long time, it damaged our relationship.”

As for Skye’s mother Barbara, pursuing the lawsuit isn’t simply about righting a wrong. She’s going after Kilgore High “because every time you turn around, there’s a kid committing suicide over these types of issues.”

(NB: Though Skye’s name is listed as simply “S.W.” in the lawsuit, both she and her mother Barbara have spoken to the press using their full names, so we’re using them here too.)

By:           Max Simon
On:           Dec 24, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 24 Comments
    • PopSnap
      PopSnap

      I don’t think I’ll ever tell my parents, either. I don’t need their “approval” of my personal relationships. All that would amount to is making them suspicious of every single male friend I invite over.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      Seriously, this was so incredibly wrong that the school even trying to defend it just makes the school look worse. Fire everyone involved and try for an out of court settlement.

      However, I hate to even think this, but perhaps this will come out for this girl who would have never told her mother. A mother who is now supporting her daughter because she doesn’t want her to be yet another teenage victim.

      @PopSnap: Being gay isn’t about your personal relationships. Its about being who you are. You shouldn’t be ashamed of it, and if you parents truly love you (trust me they most likely do) they will eventually come around. I would never suggest telling your parents before you have the ability to be self-supporting, but even the strongest anti-gay parents will come around if they actually love their children. If not, they should be hung for lacking basic human morality.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brentinpdx
      Brentinpdx

      No place is safe from these bullies…

      Dec 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • T-in-Cali
      T-in-Cali

      of course this is in Texas

      Dec 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaxson K.
      Jaxson K.

      I was born and raised here in Texas, and I’ve known several people who faced situations simialar to what Skye faced. When i was in high school I had a teacher tell me that I couldn’t be, in her words, “the way you are and make it in our school”. It pissed me off enough to prove her wrong. The forced outing is wrong! The girl knows her mother better than the teachers, and it should have been at her discretion whether her homosexuality was revealed or not.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @PopSnap: Read your comment below and try applying it to yourself.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      Give the state back to mMxico.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Unfortunately, there are still many families that will disown a son or daughter upon learning that he or she is gay. This does grave harm to the youth. It really should be up to the individual, when to tell his/her parents.

      I am long past that age. I didn’t tell my parents until after I graduated from college. I needed their help to get through school. I believed that, if they knew, they would not continue to pay my tuition or room&board. So I didn’t tell them.

      When the potential negative consequence is life-changing for the youth, such as having to drop out of college, or being disowned entirely, no one else should make that decision.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      Don’t be a coward. Always come out to family and friends otherwise the world won’t get better for everyone. Live an authentic life.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adman
      adman

      What is with straight America? Why is it about being a degraded scum sucking ass kisser to the sadists in charge that is so freaking attractive to them? My own sister spouted some of their Fox blues talking points the other day, (although unwittingly, it was like a mimetic thing) do we have to sort out each and every way that the herd are being taken advantage of here? Unbelievable! Yeah breeders, burn down the future of everyone in the fucking town you live in, there might be a faggot or two there, and plus it’ll give Glenn Beck a nice warm glow on his face. Great idea.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • That Bitch Téa Delgado
      That Bitch Téa Delgado

      Don’t worry, Justice: Mexico is taking Texas back slowly but surely!

      Dec 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      hey now, don’t be hatin’ on Texas.

      So is her mother supporting her? It seems the mother is actually quite understanding, but then the daughter makes it seem like shes a bigot. hmm

      Dec 25, 2010 at 5:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Sounds like she was less than understanding at first, but eventually came around.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      The coach is upset because the student moves in on her action and the principal thinks this is OK. Pink slips for two.

      Never mind the outing – these people lack the brains to be involved in education, except maybe getting some.

      Happy Christmas to everyone.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 7:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      While it’s a dilemma for the young lady and her mother now, it’s also now a dilemma for the entire school — coach, principal, board, etc., and perhaps the State by the time it’s done. Which is, oddly, a sign that it is getting better. Just 20 years ago the mother might well have reacted oh so much differently, and a psychologist or psychiatrist brought instead of a lawyer to attack the damage. And the school board would never have had to answer to anything they did to a gay kid. You know, I’ve always lived in cities, starting with NYC. And starting almost 30 years ago I found that I or my friends were rescuing a 1/2 dozen or more young men a year each, who were tossed out of homes and chased away from schools, and trembled in front of the bar wondering what was to come of them. In the past few years it’s only been one or two, and usually there’s still a whole lot of communication going on between the guy and parents. It’s situations like this that are turning Americans towards coddling us gay folks, instead of just a blanket condemnation. It’s harder for our detractors to be so negative anymore. And Skye will perhaps, and should, be remembered as a hero in the slow process of gaining equality. When you think about it, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is society wide in a way — mom didn’t ask, Skye didn’t tell. One day it’ll just be obvious and no one will pay it much mind.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      Hang them up by their feet and shake them until the last dime rolls out!

      Dec 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scribe
      scribe

      @PopSnap: Only you will know the right time to come out to your parents, whether you still in their home or are on your own. Yes they will assume that every dude you bring home is doing you, unless you tell them that you aren’t. I wasted 3 years not talking to my dad for what I feared he would say about me being gay. I feared he would cut me out of his life, not realizing I had already did that. I took him out and told him and he took it well. I was scared as shit, but he only sought to make me feel okay, even though I had heard him say anti-homo stuff my whole life. Him and my partner have a business together (remodeling homes) today.

      Dec 26, 2010 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scribe
      scribe

      @PopSnap: The truth is most parents want to have a relationship with their children. You don’t raise someone for 18 yrs and suddenly stop loving them. This gives you a lot of power. Parents want to be in their children’s lives even if it is only on their children’s terms. Once I finally gave out, I made it know I and my partner was a package deal. When I see my family without him, they always ask where is he…. I’m from a conservative black family, raise Jehovah witness, partnered to a white man, if I can come out anyone can. Just pick your right time

      Dec 26, 2010 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      The elephant (and not just the GOP variety) in the room that nobody wants to talk about — the nature of public education.

      The public school system itself is a system of bullying and compliance, encourages cliques of “popular” kids, etc. While gay students bear a ridiculous amount of bullying, the entire culture of public education is built around groupthink, mediocrity, punishing those who are different, crushing creativity, dulling initiative, and disrupting and extinguishing innovation.

      Just look at all of the people who were “in crowd” sorts at your high school, growing up. A c-note rides on the fact that the vast majority of them live extremely mediocre, mid-grade lives as adults. Most went nowhere.

      All the successful and bright students were relentlessly targeted both by the institution and culture, including the gay ones. Of the eight millionaires who were once students at my “alma mater,” three were gay (and relentlessly bullied by the teachers, administration and other students) and the rest were “geeks” or “nerds” who “lack basic higher level thinking skills” (according to the flunkie teachers who are still there).

      We can try to “create a better environment” for gay youth, but until the culture of mediocrity, bullying, compliance and authoritarianism is crushed out of the public school system, these stories will be common and America will continue to do ever worse in international education rankings.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 8:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Steve: You know, you could have always gotten a job and paid your own tuition like millions do. Just saying!

      @Danny: While I somewhat agree with you. I can understand the need for some to stay in the closet in order to keep their family.

      @Steve: So, in short, she was just like the vast majority of all of our parents.

      @scribe: That is so incredibly cool. I came out to my dad at 18. He responded, “lets never talk about this again.” Now, I think he loves my partner almost as much as I do and they have these long drawn out conversations.

      @Brian Miller: This is a speak for yourself topic. The most popular girl in our high school was our valedictorian who got straight A’s for 4 years while still managing to be captain of the cheer squad and many other things. She was so popular because she was so nice to everyone. She even came to my graduation party which was mostly just family.

      There were many other kids in our school in the later grades that were popular because of their kindness and many other gay kids that were quite popular. Maybe its the small town I grew up in, but gays were treated pretty well.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101
      ait10101

      @justiceontherocks: Mexico is more advanced on gay issues now than Texas (or the US in general). Latin America has really progressed, in general. I guess it would serve them right.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maxx E Padd
      Maxx E Padd

      Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina it is all the same. It’s the South, big surprise.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GB
      GB

      Yeah me!!!! It is great to be a gay man living in Texas. Why wouldn’t it be when there is another a..hole or d..khead around every corner. Why can’t people just mind their own business and worry about their own bag of problems without sticking their noses where they don’t belong to begin with?

      Dec 28, 2010 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nicole
      Nicole

      I GO to Kilgore High School, I actually KNOW Skye Wyatt. Everything she told the press is a lie. Everyone knew she was a lesbian, everyone. She’s not even really one if you really think about it. She’s been with guys all the time. Just recently actually. And, it all started because Skye slept with the coach’s girlfriend. And they didn’t “verbally lash her”. It’s ridiculous how the people are easily swayed. This article is obviously biased. Have a nice fucking day.

      Aug 27, 2011 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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