Ohio School Denies Blocking GSA, Says No One Asked To Start One

We reported on Celina High School in Ohio earlier this month, when administrators ordered students to remove T-shirts supporting the LGBT community.

Now the school is in the news again, but this time it’s receiving an apology.

A Change.org petition started by Celina student Eric Warner, 16, claimed the school was banning the formation of a gay-straight alliance. “It would be really nice to attend an Ohio high school as accepting as the one we see on Glee,” Warner posted. “But the reality is that Celina High School, like many small town schools, isn’t very accepting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans students.”

After the NPR news site State Impact reported on it, the petition went viral and eventually garnered 166,996 signatures.

But superintendent Jesse Steiner says no application was ever submitted for a GSA—and if one was,  it would likely be approved. Steiner also said accusations that the school was disciplining the students who wore the rainbow shirts were similarly untrue.

Warner has called the incident a “misunderstanding”:

“I was misinformed by my peers and was led to believe things that weren’t true… I would also like to personally apologize to [administrators] Phil Metz, Jason Luebke and Jessie Steiner for this misunderstanding.

It got way out of my control. They are not bad people. In fact, they are very great people. They promote a positive environment for learning and only took the actions necessary to protect our learning environment.”

Hmm, sounds like someone’s trying to avoid getting in trouble themselves.

After hiring a PR firm, the school district released a statement claiming “when it comes to student acceptance and bullying, the Celina city school district is proud of its record.”


When the students wore their shirts, Metz said they were told they had to take them off was because, “We’re here to focus on academics, not choices in sexuality.”

Kids wear shirts promoting everything from beer companies to the rights of the unborn, but let’s persecute students just for saying “express yourself.”

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  • Dakotahgeo

    As a retired public school teacher after 25 years, I need to remind people that a vast majority of K-12 school administrators are former coaches who couldn’t coach, received their Administrative credentials and bloviated into their new jobs, mostly with no experience or talent. In college, I was just one of many who had to mentor these “jocks” so they could so barely graduate from college. THIS is what/who your Educational Systems are run by. No wonder education is leap-frogging downward into the abyss of “dumb! Not a pretty sight at all!

  • Freddie27

    “We’re here to focus on academics, not sexuality.” Ok, fine. Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District, the 1968 Supreme Court case which found students can wear provocative political statements on their clothing because, as Justice Fortas put it, “school students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door.” Academic enough for you.

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