A Massachusetts student who spoke about the bullying she experienced was yelled at by a parent at a board meeting.
The parent called high school student Mackenzie Atwood’s allegations of bullying “indoctrination.”
The exchange at Tuesday’s meeting is not an isolated incident, or the district superintendent said in a statement.
The outspoken homosexual student from Massachusetts, who shared her experiences of bullying at a school board meeting on Tuesday, was in tears after a woman in the audience yelled at her and called it “indoctrination”.
Mackenzie Atwood of Franklin High School explained at the board meeting that she was intimidated because of her sexual orientation.
Atwood said she heard from classmates who were called homophobic and racially abusive in the hallways.
But the screaming from the audience interrupted her when school board chairwoman Anne Bergen struck with a hammer and urged the audience to let Atwood speak.
“It’s very disgusting to be able to look me in the eye and say I’m not being oppressed at this school,” Atwood said as she broke down.
The woman in the background then shouted, “This has to stop. This is indoctrination.” Atwood cried out in response that “there is no gay agenda” as Bergen hit herself with a hammer all the time.
Bergen then paused the meeting a few moments later, and later told the people in the audience to let the teenagers talk.
“I never, ever want to ask anyone to leave, but this meeting will be held respectfully,” she said. “There will be no shouting from the crowd. So we never, ever run meetings in this building.”
The exchange started approximately 41 minutes after the meeting:
Atwood’s mother Laura told a local news station WBZ that “it’s sad that adults behave like that.”
Mackenzie said people need to become “more educated about respecting people’s identities.”
After an exciting meeting, District Superintendent Sara Ahern described the disturbance as “horrific” and a violation of “the district’s core values of a safe and inclusive environment”.
Ahern also said the incident is not isolated.
“Behavior based on bias permeates layers of the community,” she said statement. “As adults, I ask you to watch your behavior as you serve as an important role model.
“Our kids are watching,” she added.
Drama at school council meetings has reached boiling point in recent weeks as once everyday opportunities became increasingly unmanageable.
Discussions about teaching “critical race theory,” powers for masks and vaccines, and about the rights of transgender students have become hotly contentious issues in counties and communities across the country.
Read the original article at Insider