Premium Content:

Girl Outed as Gay by School Wins Payout

Rainbow Flag

Skye Wyatt, now 21, was outed to her mother by two softball coaches at her school in Kilgore, Texas six years ago. Her mother, Barbara Wyatt, sued the school for violating her daughter’s privacy. On Monday the school settled for $77 000 US dollars.

- Advertisement -

In 2009, Skye Wyatt was 16 and had not yet told her mother that she was a lesbian and had a girlfriend. The two softball coaches allegedly cornered her in her high school locker room, bullied her into admitting she was gay and then told her if she didn’t come out to her mother she wouldn’t be allowed to participate in that day’s game. When she refused, the coaches called her mother and asked her to come to the field where they told her themselves.

Following the incident, Skye Wyatt suffered harassment from her classmates as a result of her outing and reportedly began cutting herself and contemplating suicide. In 2010 Barbara Wyatt filed a complaint with the school, which held three levels of hearings. By that stage, Texas state law had changed to include policies concerning privacy and communication between educators and students, and the Kilgore school district had instituted a policy against LGBT discrimination. Maintaining the policy and keeping school staff educated about implementing it is part of the agreement.

Jenny Betz, education manager for the national Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) commented on the outcome of the case.

“I think it’s an incredible decision, particularly because it shows that a student had the courage to stand up for what she thought was right.

“The only reason it’s ever OK to disclose to anyone a student’s sexual orientation is if you have that student’s permission to do so. [Otherwise] it’s never OK.” She noted that such disclosure is risky because it’s impossible to know how a parent or guardian will react, and the news could result in a student being abused, bullied or kicked our of their home. “So it’s not only a disrespectful act, but it can be a dangerous one, too,” she says.

OIP Staff

Latest

Jonathan Groff delivers emotional speech at the Tony Awards

Groff thanked his family for always allowing his "freak flag to fly".

Public sector union disappointed as WA government rejects calls for gender affirmation leave

The union says government workers are being left behind.

Review | Caroline O’Connor – My Musical Life

Caroline O'Connor's show was a delightful blend of music, storytelling, and abundant laughter.

On This Gay Day | Sally Ride headed into outer space

Soon her life will be the focus of a new drama series.

Newsletter

Don't miss

Jonathan Groff delivers emotional speech at the Tony Awards

Groff thanked his family for always allowing his "freak flag to fly".

Public sector union disappointed as WA government rejects calls for gender affirmation leave

The union says government workers are being left behind.

Review | Caroline O’Connor – My Musical Life

Caroline O'Connor's show was a delightful blend of music, storytelling, and abundant laughter.

On This Gay Day | Sally Ride headed into outer space

Soon her life will be the focus of a new drama series.

Bright Light Bright Light and Mykal Kilgore pay tribute to George and Aretha

Check out their take on the classic tune.
Old Lira. Delicious roman sourdough pizza since 2013.

Jonathan Groff delivers emotional speech at the Tony Awards

Groff thanked his family for always allowing his "freak flag to fly".

Public sector union disappointed as WA government rejects calls for gender affirmation leave

The union says government workers are being left behind.

Review | Caroline O’Connor – My Musical Life

Caroline O'Connor's show was a delightful blend of music, storytelling, and abundant laughter.