A high-school student in Scotland has been banned from wearing a rainbow Pride badge after directions from the school's head teacher, Pink News reports.
The student—who has asked to remain anonymous— started wearing the heart shaped badge on his uniform after attending Edinburgh Pride.
Teachers asked him to remove the badge—saying that they had no issue with his sexuality but that he wasn’t allowed to “promote it”.
“I was given no reason why, then after I got upset about it I was told by the teacher who told me to take it off that the school had ‘no problem’ with me being gay, but however I’m ‘promoting’ it by wearing the badge,” the teenager told Pink News.
“I told them that I was refusing to take it off which was fed back to the head teacher. I was then told by another senior member of staff, who I had a really good dialogue with, the exact same thing.
“I was told by the senior staff member that the school was okay with my sexuality, I just can’t promote ‘it’.
“I said to her that I wore the badge because it was the only place where I feel safe about my sexuality and she told me ‘you don’t need to wear a badge for that’.”
The student says he has been shocked by the school’s response and no longer feels “comfortable going to school” at St Kentigern’s Academy in West Lothian.
“I feel I am going into a place where there’s homophobia from staff members. Which feels much more scarier than when I encountered the same from other pupils,” he said.
“I feel there is a lack of understanding of what I am wearing, its significance, what it stands for, as well as what it doesn’t stand for,” he added.
When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the school said: “Pupils at St Kentigern’s are asked to remove all non-school related badges from their uniforms.
“West Lothian Council is committed to equal rights for LGBT people and is the main supporter of West Lothian Pride.
“We are also a Stonewall Diversity Champion for our work to promote inclusivity.”