Dispute in Bastrop ISD over Gay-Straight Alliance Tolerance Week



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Posted on February 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 17 at 7:22 PM

BASTROP, Texas -- Instead of getting ready for the school dance, Bastrop High School junior Lilly Dunn will be at home Friday night, reading "Harry Potter."

"We had plans," the 17-year-old said. "It was approved, and then just out of nowhere the superintendent comes out and says 'You can't do that.'"

"We" is referring to the student Gay-Straight Alliances of Cedar Creek and Bastrop High schools. The plan was to host tolerance week at both schools and a dance at Cedar Creek Friday night all promoting a simple message.

"If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it at all," Lilly explained.

After three weeks of planning, Lilly and her classmates were ready to go. Then they got a text message Monday night.

"What we were told by our president was that the superintendent had said he thought it was just a dance for gay people, and that's why he canceled it," said Lilly. 

KVUE News tried to talk with Superintendent Steve Murray, but he is out of town. The principal of Cedar Creek High School, Russell Sassin, did agree to speak with KVUE, but only over the phone.

He says the superintendent called him Monday afternoon after his office received complaints and concerns about the events.

"He was asking questions about it, and the decision was made that we would postpone all activities, not cancel them, but postpone them, until I could get more information together to give to the superintendent's office," Sassin said. 

Principal Sassin says he expects the dance and Tolerance Week to be rescheduled to sometime in March. Still, it's leaving some students and their parents unhappy.

"It's sending the wrong message out to the, to the students, and saying 'Oh, if enough people hound on you, it's okay to, just, you know, completely cave in,'" said Lilly's stepfather Jesse Torres.

Principal Sassin plans to meet with the superintendent early next week to talk about the events.