Parents pull kids from Gravette Schools after sidewalk messages

KNWA

Some of the messages read "Born Homophobic" and "Gay is Not Okay".

GRAVETTE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: The Gravette School District issued a statement to KNWA/FOX 24 on Tuesday, April 6.

The Gravette School District is committed to protecting the learning environment for all students. School administration is conducting a thorough investigation in accordance with the district’s bullying policy.  The rules and standards that govern bullying according to this policy will be objectively applied in order to protect the rights of all children.

MARIBEL CHILDRESS, GRAVETTE SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT

ORIGINAL STORY:

A parent told KNWA/FOX24 she’s pulling her kids from the Gravette School District after messages of bigotry were written by her child’s classmates.

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said her child’s sidewalk artwork was destroyed with messages that read “Born Homophobic” and “Gay is Not Okay”.

She feels there should be consequences and the school should do something to stop this kind of behavior.

It’s sad that the children were allowed to do something so hateful and it was not immediately taken off, it’s sad the way the school has responded, which is basically not at all, and it’s heartbreaking watching the kids that it happened to — they’re very insecure already.

ANONYMOUS PARENT

A teacher who works at the Gravette Middle School, where the incident occurred, sent this statement to KNWA/FOX 24:

“I’ve been a teacher at the middle school for over five years. I am not from Gravette but enjoyed the familial aspect of the smaller district. I knew going in that it is a conservative area, and I dealt with that accordingly. However, The bullying and anti-LGBTQ crowd have gotten louder and bolder as their behavior has gone unchecked at school and is actually encouraged at home. I think some of it had to do with the recent events of the last year and the pro-Trump sentiment that runs rampant. In all, discipline has been a huge issue in the past few years. The administration does not want to take a stand against the “popular parents” for lack of a better term. Even though our LGBTQ students are the ones most at risk! I think the principal tried to brush it off last week and when she finally realized how serious the situation is, it was too late. I am so sad to have those students leave our school. As a teacher, I feel embarrassed to be associated with Gravette now.”

Since, Friday, April 2, KNWA/FOX 24 has reached out to the school, but have yet to hear back.

The messages on the sidewalk have been removed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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