LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of students at a suburban Kansas City high school walked out of class this week over allegations of LGBTQ students facing repeated harassment and bullying.
The walkout happened Monday at Lee's Summit High School after some students said administrators there have done nothing to protect bullied students, even after receiving repeated reports of the bullying, the Kansas City Star reported.
The mother of one student told the Star her daughter was punched in the face last week by a boy after confronting him in a school hallway about harassing and bullying her gay friend. The mother, Melanie Davies, said the incident led to a fight between bullying students and the students allegedly being bullied.
“No teachers were around," Davies said. "Students broke it up.”
Davies later took her daughter to the emergency room, where they learned she had a broken nose.
The students who were being bullied and defended themselves in the fight were suspended from school along with the bullies, Davies said. Her daughter and friends also were not allowed to attend their senior homecoming dance because of the suspension, she said.
District spokeswoman Katy Bergen told the Star that the district prohibits all forms of bullying and investigates all complaints of bullying administrators receive. But she declined to answer questions about the alleged bullying or fight at Lee's Summit.
A Change.org petition titled “LGBTQ+ safety at Lee’s Summit High School” had garnered more than 2,800 signatures by Tuesday morning. It calls for school officials to thoroughly investigate and respond to reports of harassment and to enforce the school’s zero-tolerance policy for bullying. It also demands the school excuse the LGBTQ students and their allies from suspension, among other things.