A California teen was bullied at school for being a lesbian after the school board president complained about LGBT-inclusive sex education.
by Travis Gettys
The teen heard a male voice call her “a faggot, a queer, a lesbo” during the attack but didn’t see him or recognize his voice, and she suffered bruising on her neck and back.
“They were pretty hard throws,” she told the newspaper. “All I heard was them calling me really mean names that involved my sexuality.”
Logann, who has been openly gay since middle school, said she’s frequently picked on for her sexuality but hadn’t faced physical bullying until this week.
“This is a daily thing,” said her mother, Gina Pruneda. “She comes home, and I ask how her day was, and she says a kid said ‘lesbian’ under his breath while she was giving a presentation. Last year, she pretty much spent every day eating lunch in a classroom because of the bullying. It’s not easy for her, but she’s learned to deal with it.”
This week’s incident comes as controversy swirls around school board president Brooke Ashjian, who argued during an Aug. 4 interview with the Bee that state law requiring LGBT-inclusive sex education encouraged students to become gay.
“You have kids who are extremely moldable at this stage and if you start telling them that LGBT is OK and that it’s a way of life, well maybe you just swayed the kid to go that way,” Ashjian said. “It’s so important for parents to teach these Judeo-Christian philosophies.”
LGBT activists and Fresno Unified parents asked the board to demote or censure Ashjian for his comparing them to perpetrators of the Armenian genocide for criticizing his anti-LGBT remarks.
School officials and police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, but they have been unable to identify the students involved because no witnesses have come forward.
The school has set up an anonymous tip line, and a former Fresno County supervisor is offering a $750 reward in the case.
“All the things I’ve gone through in life, they’ve made me who I am today,” Logann said. “I’m stronger than I was in seventh grade. Ever since I came out, I finally get to be who I am on the inside, and I want people to know there’s a chance for you to be open with the world. They may throw things at you and say mean things to you, but it will be worth it in the end.”
The controversy over Ashijian — a Mormon and President Donald Trump supporter — continued after the bullying incident.
The school board shot down a motion Wednesday night that would have given Ashijian more control of more control of meeting agendas.
Ashijian sits on the bylaw committee that suggested the changes that would have increased his power, he cast one of two votes in favor of the failed motion.