PA Teacher Videotapes, Humiliates Gay Student Who Took Trans Date To Prom

We didn’t have the best prom experience—mainly because we took a girl and not the guy we were crushing on. But gay teen Jared Swank of Hanover, PA, had his prom memories tarnished after the fact, when he learned a teacher who videotaped him and his date played the clip for the amusement of her science class.

Swank, who brought a trans girl to prom, had originally allowed the unnamed educator to record them at the dance. But he says he had no idea she was going to show it to other students. “I come to school Monday and that’s when I heard about everything that happened. And it made me really upset. I don’t think it was right.” He tells Eyewitness News he feels “exploited.”

On Thursday, Swank’s mother, Dawn Mendygral, went before the school board and demanded to know why this teacher broadcast the video of Jason and his date, especially since he has been bullied at the school for years. “I don’t know what her intention was, but I know I’m not understanding why she would take it to school and play it in the classroom,” said Mendygral.

Hanover Area School Board President John Pericci said the district considers itself  inclusive and welcoming, and confirmed the teacher’s actions are being investigated. A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday between Mendygral and school officials.

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  • EvonCook

    Hope they kick that teacher’s ass right out of school. Pretty insensitive and disgusting.

  • Clockwork

    Teachers should not be playing video, audio recordings, or showing photographs of any student without permission.

    Teacher needs to be reprimanded and the class needs to be informed this is not appropriate behavior.

  • JAW

    Interesting story… Th local newspapers as well as all of the TV stations have been all over this story. The school is located just outside Wilkes-Barre Pa.. an area that is pretty catholic and conservative. I was at least happy to see that there was no issue with his date.

    The positive part of the story is that it seemed that both of the students had a great time at the prom… the issue did not surface till he returned to school on monday. The fact that he was able to, and felt confident enough to bring a Trans date says a lot about him, his date, the kids at the school… and the kids at his dates school. His date goes to an even More conservative school… I Hope they go to he prom also.

    Thanks Mom for sticking up, going on TV and being proud of Your Son!!!

  • Ronbo

    Evil. Just evil. I hope the teacher’s car is videotaped so that his/her fans can share their level of appreciation. A better man would turn his cheek 7X70 – sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

  • chaz

    thats bullshit us gays and lesbians go thru enough in this fucked up and crucial world and now the teachers in the school district when will are people be safe and not criticized when can we be free and do what we want to do instead of being judged and ridiculed for loving the same sex and as far as that teacher i think a bunch of butchie lesbians should kick her ass

  • Dammitt Dan

    Clockwork, Reprimanded? How about if me and some of my not-so effeminate gay friends go up and bully that teacher for a few years. Then maybe I’ll video tape her getting bad news at her OBGYN and play that for her science class.

  • Mikel D McGrew

    As a former high school teacher, proud of my work with all student, I believe she must be removed from the classroom, lose her job and benefits. This is inexcusable and immoral and such an individual has no business in the classroom. Teacher, good teachers, all over are fighting the perception that we do nothing of value, that we are paid too much, and the tenure protects the unfit. This incident only adds support to those allegations. She must be fired.

  • JAW

    @Mikel D McGrew:

    I would rather wait and see what they find… what if she had taken video of all the other couples… and shown them also?
    or what if she had taken video of all of the others and did not show those 2 because of their orientation?? would we be pissed that She had not shown it???

    I grew up in that area… I was pleasantly surprised that he felt comfortable enough to bring a Trans date… and The She felt comfortable enough in going

    I am withholding judgement till they do an investigation. As Jared stated… he got along with the teacher in question in the past, sounds like she is not all bad

  • Clockwork

    @Dammitt Dan:

    >How about if me and some of my not-so effeminate gay friends go up and bully that teacher
    >for a few years.

    Go ahead. Sink to the level of those who offend you.

  • DouggSeven

    Let’s all not jump to conclusions here. Do we know if the tape was played in a trolling matter against the victim or an educatoinal lesson to other students about tolerance and acceptance? It seems unfathomable that a teacher of children can do this…regardless of personal opinion or religion…especially a woman. How could an educated person do such a thing and assume no repercussions?

  • carsen tyler

    Really? Don’t all of us who work with kids have to get signed papers and consent from students and their parents to share images and video of students even to other students. What was this teacher thinking? I can’t even share pics from school field trips until I get consent from parents. WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE THINKING?

  • WTF

    Why is this bitch teacher “unnamed”. She’s not the victim here, clearly the kid is. This teacher’s name and picture should be splashed all over the place.

  • Cam

    @Clockwork: said…

    “Go ahead. Sink to the level of those who offend you”

    The defense of bigots. That pathetic attitude is why we had zero movement on gay rights for years. We had HRC saying sit back and shut up. When gays finally stood up and called a bigot a bigot and pushed in the last few years, is when we started seeing some serious momentum.

  • Nicolynn

    The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization
    If that teacher was employed with a hospital (or another healthcare setting), they would be fired for displaying a video of a patient while being treated.
    As a teacher you are a considered and viewed as a Professional, you sure didn’t act in the best interests of your student.
    There should be no meeting to investigate, just called in front of the school board and Fired!

  • Nicolynn

    I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  • JAW


    First… the student is NOT a kid… he is 18 so he is an adult.

    He also consented to having Her take the video… finding out exactly what happened will be key… until she is charged with something by the police, it stays a private matter.

  • Christopher

    @JAW: It ceased to be a private matter when she publicly presented the video to her class. She is a biology teacher, so there is no valid academic reason to present video of a prom in her biology classes.
    As a local, I have my own personal opinions on this teacher and her and her family’s behavior in general. But regardless, this person is still a student evenif 18, and this woman is still a teacher…and a teacher allowing any student to be ridiculed in her class is more than unprofessional it’s negligent.

  • JAW


    I have been impressed at how much coverage that this has been given on TV and in both W-B papers… He seems to be getting a lot of support.

    The fact that both Hanover and Lake Lehman High Schools have students that felt comfortable enough to express who they both are surprised the heck out of me.
    Seems that the Valley is coming out of its shell a bit… heyna??

    You seem to know about the teacher personally… Why do you think Jared allowed her to video them dancing if she is such a jerk??

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  • OMG

    Nice JAW. Trolling for support and new info for your story? Let me guess. You’re in the media.

  • Christopher


    And as for why the student allowed a teacher to tape him. He claims she said she wanted to “teach her daughter about diversity” but regardless, what student denies a request from a teacher?

    and I never said she was a “jerk” just that I had my own opinions. If you are actually researching as suggested by another poster, I am sure you will come across plenty of stories.

  • JAW

    Sorry… not trolling for a story. This is old news… It was on local news last thursday, and in the newspapers on friday morning. The TV stations have also done follow up stories with Jared.

    My concern is that, as usual, most on here have convicted someone with out even hearing their side of the story. If she did this to humiliate, bully, or try to hurt the 2 students, then she should be punished. Jared was NOT in the class, so he is not 100% sure of what happened either.

    I am holding judgement till a investigation is complete.

    Hell… even some of the stories out there are misleading…”XAMTHOR” suggested a story on a site called “unicornbooty”… That site identified Jared as the Trans student… sounds like it was not more “in Depth”… just misleading.

    The story is the lead on… it includes a link to an other interview with Jared

    Again… I am withholding judgement till the investigation is finished

  • Christopher

    Just curious, what do you feel is a valid reason to show prom videotape in a biology class?

    Even if there was a valid reason, is it the teachers respinsibility to determine how that video would affect the students involved?

    And how thorough an investigation do you expect with the teachers father being on the school board, and her husband being the football coach?

  • JAW

    @Christopher: lets see… it was the first day back after the prom… perhaps she wad a class with lots of kids from the prom in it… perhaps she had video of a lot of the kids… and was showing lots of kids from the prom… perhaps one kid in class got out of control…

    I do not know… we have not heard anything from anyone that was ACTUALLY in the room.. all we know is hearsay… which is not permitted in any court of law

    perhaps interview all those in the room at the time

    like I mentioned… other sites have wrong info out there already… we need to find the facts.

    Jared even said that he got along with her, before this… so why do you think she did it???

  • Christopher

    @JAW: You can keep trying to justify this teachers actions, for whatever reason, but as I said even if there was a valid reason ( just randomly showing video in biology class doesn’t cut it)… It is still the teacher’s responsibility to be aware of how this would affect the students. She obviously knew there was footage of the gay/trans couple and any teacher on the job for more than 10 minutes should know what the reaction would be.

    The facthat there has been bullying against this student, that this teacher was aware of it, is not hearsay, the complaints are on file.and if this teacher has more than two functioning brain cells she would know that this videotape wouldn’t help the bullying situation.

    And you still didn’t answer my question about the thoroughness of the investigation with her father on the school board, and her husband being football coach.

  • JAW

    You asked me to come up with valid reason why… That is what I did (or tried to do)… Now you critize me for answering your question.

    I did answer the question about an investigation… start by interviewing everyone in the room. with the local, and now national press picking up the story… they will not have a choice, but to do a proper investigation.

    The only information out there that I have seen is Hearsay… Jared was not in the room… so all that he says is from word of mouth… and he could not testify in court about the issue.

    Once the FACTS are known (not Hearsay)… then we can see what punishment, if any is needed.

    Jared was smart enough to have contacted the TV stations and Newspapers to be at the School Board Meeting plus he has given several interviews since that night. This will not be swept under the carpet.

    You also said the following with out backing it up with any facts (Not Hearsay but FACTS)…”and a teacher allowing any student to be ridiculed in her class is more than unprofessional it’s negligent.”

    did she allow ridicule? (again facts, not hearsay)

  • Alexi3

    I want that teacher fired now. There’s nothing that can mitigate what she did. Her intent was to embarrass, it was harrassment of a student. She intended her film to harm this student. I don’t see how the School Board can honestly do anything other than terminate the employment of a teacher who intentionally set out to inflict emotional harm on a student who had every right to expect protection from any teacher. If, as stated, this child had endured bullying in the past the teachers actions could be interpreted as giving the green light to bullies to engage in physical as well as emotional harm.

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