Del City High School Students Say School Doesn't Discriminate Against Gays
Rusty Surette, News 9
DEL CITY, Oklahoma -- Death threats are impacting one Oklahoma school. But some students at Del City High School say the discrimination allegations that lead to the threats are a lie.
Last week a group of former Del City High School students contacted News 9 and said the school's administration was discriminating against them for their sexuality and preventing them from graduating.
Current students say their story is untrue and the high school is an open and welcoming place.
"It's a completely open place. Everyone is themselves there," said Hannah Tatom, the Del City High School student body president. "As a student body leader I see what goes on among students and interactions between the administration and students gay and straight."
Tatom, 18, along with many others who've contacted News 9, say their school's administration does not discriminate against gay students.
"I really believe this isn't about sexual orientation whatsoever. It's about bad behavior and Mid-Del District rules," said Tatom.
Last week Kelsey Hicks and several others said they are being targeted by principals and a coach because of their lifestyle.
"The principal will say 'Well you're gay. You're not going to do anything with your life. You might as well just drop out now,'" said Hicks.
Hicks admits she and the others have been in trouble in the past, but they're ready to go back to Del City High School and make things right. However, they say the school isn't allowing it.
Del City High students Thomas Hawk and Kandy Wyatt say the staff and faculty are very supportive and they should know. They are both openly gay. Hawk, 18, was a cheerleader at the school during his freshman year. Wyatt, 17, has served as a drum major.
The students said they're upset with the hundreds of threatening phone calls and e-mails the school district is receiving every day from gay rights supporters.
"Del City is one of the main places I can be myself...just walking down the hallways," said Hawk.
"Del City…It's just such an open place. I've been out since the ninth grade and I've never experienced any problems at all," said Wyatt.
Jaime McKnight is a former student who said she's proof when students struggle, Del City principals are there to help no matter what. The 18-year-old said she struggled at one time and it was teachers and principals who kept pushing her to succeed.
"They said what you do in your private life is your private life. They don't care," said McKnight.
The school district said by law it can't comment on the allegations being made against them. However they said they investigate any accusation made against employees and as a result of News 9's previous story, they will be contacting the girls to thoroughly investigate their claims of discrimination.