MADISON, Ala. – A video reportedly showing a group of high school boys driving past a gay couple’s home and shouting homophobic slurs is being shared around Madison. WHNT News 19 started digging after learning of the video. We reached out to school officials — who confirmed the details of the accusation.
WHNT spoke with the couple and learned why they’re using the incident to speak out to defend LGBTQ students experiencing homophobia.
Colin and his boyfriend Jason watched the incident on their security cameras around 11 p.m. on Friday. A group of high school boys yelled expletives out of a car in front of their home.
“We heard this car full of people yelling out ‘[expletive] the gays’ – ‘[expletive] the [expletive]’ and we don’t even know these people,” said Colin.
The homophobic slurs were confirmed to be from Madison City students, by school officials. “These are our students,” said Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker. “We understand go to James Clemens High School.”
Parker said the James Clemens principal spoke with the boys and addressed the problem immediately.
“I’ve seen the video,” said Parker. “It’s certainly something we absolutely do not condone.”
Colin posted the video to social media and came forward with the story saying that being silent condones discriminatory behavior.
“This incident that involves these high schoolers really worries me. If they had no problem doing this to adult strangers that they don’t know – who knows what they’re doing to their fellow classmates,” said Colin.
Shortly after the security footage circulated online, a current student at James Clemens High School reached out to Colin. The student wrote him saying, “This right here is exactly why I hate getting up every day.”
Parker said the school is taking action on the car full of students shouting the slurs – but couldn’t go into details. “I’ve apologized to the couple,” said Parker, “just for Madison City Schools.”
Colin wants the bullying to stop.
“After the death of Huntsville High student Nigel Shelby last year, it really concerned me knowing that something like that is going on in my backyard,” said Colin.
But Colin’s hopeful and happy he spoke out. “You don’t have to live in fear,” he said. “You don’t have to hide who you are.”
The couple says they’ve been in contact with Madison City Schools and they’re pleased with the school’s response.