A pair of middle school teachers in Georgia have been suspended for allegedly joking about a student being gay in front of the whole classroom. But the child’s mother doesn’t feel like a two-day suspension and apology is enough, and she wants them fired.
Jean Mott, the mother of a 14-year-old student at Shiloh Middle School in Snellville, a suburb northeast of Atlanta, said two teachers repeatedly teased him about a classmate being his “boyfriend.”
After the classmate missed a couple days at school, the teachers chided Mott’s son for missing him.
“The teacher said to my son, ‘Your boyfriend was cheating on you while you were away. Oh, you two make a really good couple,'” Mott told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB.
The son came home in tears and told his mother he has been bullied by classmates over the teachers’ comments.
“Help me understand why, as an adult, you would do this to a child?” Mott said. “Why would you bully my child, or any child?”
Mott spoke to the two teachers, who admitted to joking about her son having a boyfriend and apologized for their conduct.
The school also investigated the claims by Mott and found them to be substantiated. Each of the teachers was suspended for two days.
“Both investigations found that the teachers’ comments were inappropriate,” Shiloh Middle School said in a statement. “As a result, disciplinary action was taken against both teachers.”
Another investigation, by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, is ongoing, according to WSB. The commission has the ability to pull the teaching certificates for both teachers based on the outcome.
Mott doesn’t think any further investigation is warranted and wants them fired by the school immediately.
“I cannot allow these teachers to go out and do this to anybody’s else’s child,” Mott said. “They initiated the bullying. As a result, my son has been bullied by his peers and it’s something he’ll never live down.”
About 33 percent of LGBT high school students in the U.S. experienced bullying in person, and 27.1 percent suffered cyberbullying, according to a Centers for Disease Control study in 2017. Those numbers are about twice as much as students who identify as heterosexual.