Hundreds of students from Lee’s Summit High School walked out of their classes on Monday after one of their classmates was suspended despite being allegedly bullied for being gay.
Out gay senior student Danny Lillis has allegedly been bullied by a group of students because of his sexuality and that he also he wears makeup to school.
The group of bullies have also been accused of allegedly shouting hateful remarks and throwing food at Lillis and his friends.
Student Complained To School Administration, But Received No Help
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The senior student also told the news station that he went to the school administration several times “crying” for help but received no assistance.
After weeks of harassment Lillis and his friends took matters into their own hands and confronted their tormentors and got into a physical altercation with them.
This resulted in all students involved getting suspended, including Lillis who had bruises and cuts on his face and his friend Malani Hohlbaugh who had her nose broken after the fight.
“We both bumped shoulders, he shoved, I shoved back, and then he punched me. And with that punch, ended up with a broken nose and a busted lip,” Hohlbaugh said in an interview with KMBC News.
Both Lillis’ and Hohlbaugh’s mothers have told local media outlets they are outraged with how the school has handled the situation.
‘Our Children Should Feel Safe’
“There is supposed to be a zero tolerance policy for bullying, but nobody is doing anything about. They haven’t gotten the help that they needed,” Melanie Davis, mother of Malani Hohlbaugh said to The Kansas Star.
Davis said the school did not contact her to inform her that her daughter had been injured in a fight. As well as being suspended for five days, Lillis, Hohlbaugh and their friends were also not allowed to attend homecoming.
District spokesperson Katy Bergen reached out to The Kansas Star to say that they are investigating the bullying complaints.
“Everyone in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District community deserves to feel safe and welcome. Harassment or discrimination in LSR7 is strictly prohibited,” Bergen said in an email.
“Although laws protecting students’ privacy prevents us from discussing the specifics of this incident, we can share that school and district administrators are conducting an investigation and taking action to ensure the safety of all students and staff.”
Students Start Online Petition
“District administrators will follow Board of Education policies and procedures as we determine next steps. In LSR7, it is a top priority to ensure an inclusive culture where our students, staff members and families are valued and treated with dignity,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile a student from Lee’s Summit has also started an online petition demanding that Lillis and his friends not receive the same punishment as the group that allegedly bullied them.
The petition also demands the school properly enforce their Zero Tolerance Policy for bullying and harassment and issue a school-wide apology for the administration’s poor management of the situation.
Currently, over 3,000 people have signed the petition.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.