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US: Texas school defends ‘right’ to exclude pupil for being gay

Nick Duffy February 7, 2015
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A private school in Texas has defended its right to exclude a student for “homosexual activity”.

17-year-old YouTuber Austin Wallis – who had posted a number of videos about his sexuality while attending Lutheran High North in Houston – was allegedly ordered by the school’s principal to either delete his online presence, or to face expulsion.

Wallis said in a video on the situation: “The gist of it was: I had to go back into the closet. Which means I had to delete all my social media, including YouTube. I had to erase my digital impact on the world. And he said I’ll have to do that to stay at the school.”

“I think it’s ridiculous that in this day and age you can be excluded from your own school for being gay.

“When I came out I knew I was going to have bullies, and I knew people were not going to be OK with it. But I never expected it to be from the people who were supposed to protect you from the bullies.”

Wallis did not name the school in his video – but it was later reported in the local press as  Lutheran High North.

Despite disputing his account, the school’s head, Dallas Lusk, said the school had a “right” to expel gay students.

He said: “Lutheran High North reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant and/or to discontinue enrollment of a current student participating in, promoting, supporting or condoning: pornography, sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bisexual activity; or displaying an inability or resistance to support the qualities and characteristics required of a Biblically based and Christ-like lifestyle.”

The executive director of the Lutheran Education Association of Houston, Wayne Kramer, also defended the school, saying: “Lutheran High North welcomes all students and their families to the LHN community

“We profess and proclaim our Christian beliefs with the foundations and authority taught in the Bible, all within the teachings of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. We respectfully require students to adhere to these accepted values and moral beliefs.

“Sometimes, as in this case, students have to make choices and decide whether their beliefs align with our community and we respect their choices.

“We also respect student privacy and do not comment on any individual student or their actions.”

Watch the 17-year-old’s video below:

Related topics: homophobic, Houston, Religion, school, Texas, US

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