The Anna-Jonesboro Community High School, a high school located in the southern tip of Illinois, has garnered national attention after a group of students formed an “Anti-Queer Association.” The group also began circulating a survey among students questioning if LGBTQ students should be allowed to use the bathroom alongside heterosexual students.
NBC News reports faculty at Anna-Jonesboro high found out about the survey last week. In it, the Anti-Queer Association poses the options of “Yes, I want queers to go in the bathroom,” or ” No, I don’t want queer kids to go to the bathroom with us normal people.” Already queer rights groups have begun to criticize the school, though local administrators have assured the public an investigation into the survey is underway.
“We began investigating. We’re still investigating. At this point in time, I really can’t give any information regarding any individuals or discipline measures,” said school Superintendent Rob Wright. “But, I can tell you that this type of harassment is taken very seriously and will not be tolerated. And once the investigation is complete, the appropriate discipline will take place where warranted.”
Michael Coleman, a director for the Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center in nearby Carbondale, Illinois, also expressed his outrage. “My understanding is that it was an association that was brought upon the students and a parent that’s cosigning for it that made the Anti-Queer Association, basically trying to repeal the Keep Youth/Children Safe Act,” Coleman said. “Basically stating that we are supposed to have inclusive bathrooms for those who are transgender or non-binary or non-conforming.”
Coleman further encouraged queer students at Anna-Jonesboro high as well as members of the school’s Anti-Queer Alliance to visit the Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center, both to feel safe, and to learn more about how surveys like the one in question harm LGBTQ students.
The Anti-Queer Alliance and its survey at Anna-Jonesboro high is just the latest example of queer students under attack from their classmates in a number of American high schools. Earlier this year, a teen suffered a beating at the hands of classmates for carrying the pride flag to school. Also, in September, a group of students at a Florida school defaced the pride flag and attacked members of the school’s gay-straight alliance.