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School leaders say incident regrettable after students caught on camera yelling slurs

MADISON – Officials with Madison City Schools say a weekend harassment incident towards a same-sex couple by local students is regrettable and not a reflection on the school system.

The statement by MCS spokesman John Peck came last night in response to two students from James Clemens being caught on camera yelling homophobic comments. The incident was caught on a doorbell camera.

“The incident in question happened over the weekend, not on school property nor during a school-sanctioned activity,” Peck said. “Having said that, Madison City Schools does not condone intolerance of any sort by its students or employees. Character traits such as respect and acceptance are taught in the early grades and reinforced throughout their school experience. Behavior contrary to what is expected by Madison City Schools is regrettable and not a reflection of who we are as a school system.”

Although the students were not under the authority of the schools at the time of the incident, MCS superintendent Robby Parker offered an apology to the couple, and James Clemens principal Dr. Brian Clayton addressed it fully with the students.

“This is just the latest example of a culture within Huntsville area schools which has been ignored and which, Last year, caused a student at Huntsville High School to end his life after being relentlessly bullied for his sexuality,” said Matthew Brown, the LGBTQ Caucus Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. “While I am grateful that school administrators acted swiftly to reprimand the students who made these comments, I sincerely hope that north Alabama public school systems will work to be more than reactionary in dealing with anti-LGBTQ+ bullying—namely by making certain that teachers and administrators do not turn a blind eye to the toxic culture which supports this behavior.”

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