VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Human Rights Commission called upon the Virginia Beach City Public Schools to apologize after cancelling and postponing a Gay-Straight Alliance event earlier this month.
In a letter to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and council members, Cliff Rice Chair of the Human Rights Commission said their were concerns about the abrupt cancellation and postponement of the Cox High School Gay-Straight Alliance assembly.
The assembly was scheduled for Sunday, December 4 and less than 24 hours before the event, it was canceled.
The letter states that the Cox High School GSA event was created by students in response to an anti-gay bullying incident in the school.
The student members of the Cox GSA followed protocol to request an assembly from school administrators, the letter says. The event had reportidely been planned for “months.”
The letter to officials said the actions of the school board sent “the wrong message to students, encouraged a culture of bullying and further marginalized an already vulnerable population.”
In part the letter said:
“It is the Commission’s hope that Virginia Beach City Public Schools accepts full responsibility for their actions, abruptly cancelling and postponing the December 5th assembly, by issuing a public apology to Cox High School students and to the citizens of Virginia Beach. Furthermore, the Commission requests a clear and unequivocal statement of support for the Cox High School Gay-Straight Alliance and all LGBT and allied students in our Virginia Beach City Public Schools without delay.”