Students walk out of school in protest at ‘homophobic’ Chick-fil-A food truck at football games
At least a hundred students walked out of their school in protest at the presence of a Chick-fil-A food truck at the school’s football games.
Chick-fil-A is the US’s third-largest fast food chain. The Baptist-owned company has given millions of dollars to anti-LGBT+ organisations, leading to protests, boycotts, and several new branches being banned from opening.
The walk out at West Linn High School in Oregon was led by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club, whose president Susie Walters said students felt unsafe, citing examples of harassment at games and in classes.
Carrying rainbow flags and signs reading “Every student deserves to be safe,” the students said they were ready to stand up against what they describe as an “unaccepting school culture”.
Around 25 parents and family members stood across the street in support of the children.
Andrew Kilstrom, the school’s public information officer, said he was not aware of any specific incidents of harassment among students.
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“The West Linn-Wilsonville School District takes all matters of school safety seriously, and diligently investigates and addresses all potential safety concerns,” he said. “That includes bullying or cyberbullying.”
Local news outlet KATU2 reported that officials at the high school said the Chick-fil-A food truck will remain at football games throughout the season, but they will reconsider their vetting process for contracts with vendors in the future.
However, it was noted that the Chick-fil-A truck was not present at the Saturday night football game.
The US fast-food chain has a long history of supporting anti-LGBT+ causes.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation donated almost $3 million to an anti-marriage equality organisation in 2011. In 2013, it was reported that the chain’s anti-LGBT+ donations had almost doubled.
In 2012, Chick-fil-A boss Dan Cathy confirmed that the chain is against same-sex marriage. He later said he regretted getting the company entangled in controversy surrounding LGBT+ rights, but said his views had not changed.
“The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organisation in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues,” he said.