At a DuBois protest on Friday, a few kids were seen holding up signs against the LGBTQ community. Today, the community is speaking out against these photos.
Michaela Gardner said Friday’s protest in DuBois was in support of the Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate and Stop Muslim Hate movements.
But after seeing a picture on Facebook of kids at the protest holding up signs with transphobic language, she said she’s disgusted.
“I just think its awful, I’m not surprised because we live in a small minded town,” said Gardner, a DuBois resident.
She said racism and homophobia are not political issues but they’re human rights issues.
“The fact that people are defending it makes it even more sick, it’s not okay. Hate speech is under no circumstances okay and it shouldn’t be allowed,” she said.
Other residents in DuBois shared those same views.
“I just think that it’s really awful that they had it on there. I think DuBois is a town where we shouldn’t allow those types of things especially hate speech,” said Shad Pernesky.
A family member of one of the kids pictured at the protest said the teen was raised in a LGBTQ+ community his entire life.
That family member who wished to remain anonymous released this statement to me saying in part, “I can’t even express the shame and horror our family feels. I cannot speak for the other children but my family member is a minor who made a horrible choice to hold a card board sign for 5 minutes in a small town. I do not know what was on their sign but clearly other ones had slurs. Myself and my family will never condone what our family member did.”6N
Wendy Benton, superintendent of the DuBois Area School District said that their counselors reached out to the students who were involved in this protest and said that they apologized for their actions.