In what is sure to ignite a fury of opposition, Lance Sanderson, the Christian Brothers High School student barred from bringing a male date to his prep school’s Homecoming dance, was sent home from school this morning and asked to stay home the remainder of the week.
The reasons cited: CBHS did not "appreciate the unwanted publicity" the story had generated and were receiving insults as a result.
"I am disappointed that I am unable to sit in class today," Sanderson tells us. "While many assignments can be reached online, I was going to take two tests today and an in class timed essay. Tomorrow at CBHS, I was going to meet with admissions representatives from around the country (they do not visit often). I hope to be welcomed back into a classroom setting soon."
Sanderson has not done anything wrong: he did not go against the school's policy by bringing a same-sex date to the prom, instead opting not to attend the dance altogether. What he did do was speak out for LGBT students everywhere who experience discrimination from faculty and school administrators citing baseless, outdated policies.
Sanderson forwarded us a copy of the letter he sent off to the school (which he has yet to received a response to):
Dear CBHS Administration,
Today I arrived at school around 6:30am. I sat down to complete my assignments for the classes I planned on attending today. At 7:30am, I was speaking to a teacher when an administrator walked into the room and told me to gather my books and come to the office.
When I arrived at the office I was told that the administration “had 890 other students to worry about” and could not deal with me. I was told to go home for the week. I said goodbye to a few teachers and students, then drove home.
I am hurt by this exclusion. It goes against the Lasallian value of brotherhood that the school is supposed to stand for. You won’t let me dance with my date and you won’t let me go to class now either. I had hoped that today would be one for positive conversation going forward. Instead, I was sent home.
I haven’t done anything wrong and haven’t hurt anybody. I want to be welcomed back to the school building today and I want this mean-spirited semi-suspension ended, so that I can do my classwork like anybody else.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote from a Birmingham jail cell: “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
We've reached out to CBHS for comment.