A high school in Atasocita, Texas—30 minutes north of Houston—has come under fire for featuring a rainbow coloured page in their yearbook that introduced LGBT+ seniors and their coming out stories.
Parents of students at the school angrily took to a local online forum to demand answers as to why gay teenagers were being celebrated, accusing the year book’s editor Kyle Armour of “jamming their crap down our throats”.
Kyle’s mother Kimberly Hicks Armour has told the Houston Chronicle that her son’s goal was “to be as inclusive as possible for the entire student and to make everyone feel important in the book".
"People were saying he was dumb, not smart, that I should not be proud of who he is," she continued. “I'm very proud of who he is. He did take a stand and make something diverse for the community and to our school."
One forum contributor, 'lynnsgirl', wrote: "We can't pray in school but now we have a section strictly dedicated to the gay community explaining how, when and why the came 'out'. I'm honestly disgusted and embarrassed."
Natalie Mendoza, one of the featured LGBT+ student wrote on the yearbook page: “I was definitely afraid of coming out and being honest with myself and others. I had no support. Being Catholic and gay was the hardest thing to accept myself as, but with the help from family and peers, I am more content with my life than ever before.”
Mendoza was targeted by the trolling parents with one writing: “Go back to Mecixo [sic]”
One user named 'SteelerNation' wrote in response to the quote, "hope they self-deport, that crap does not belong in a USA yearbook".
"My friends know my sexual orientation and love and respect me regardless," Mendoza said. "There was many immature and ridiculous jokes, but mine, in specific, stood out due to my sexual orientation."
The school district’s spokeswoman Jamie Mount said: "The yearbooks should have been more thoroughly vetted prior to publication.”
"The issue has been addressed with staff. It will not happen again."