Pell City High students denied LGBTQ homecoming float

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A float for the Pell City High School homecoming parade representing the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) student population was denied according to two students.

16-year-old junior Brianna Phillips and 15-year-old sophomore Haley Youngblood are now accusing the school district of discriminating against their sexual orientation.

The girls claim they filled out the necessary form to submit a float for the upcoming Oct. 27 homecoming game, got 110 signatures from their peers for the non-academic float, and presented them to the principal to approve the float. Principal Tony Dowdy denied their request saying it failed to meet the necessary guidelines for a school float.

Pell City School District superintendent, Dr. Michael Barber, has since weighed in and agrees with Dowdy.

“The Pell City High School homecoming parade participation approval process was in existence prior to this event,” said Barber. “Those participating in the parade must follow the existing guidelines and gain prior approval. Those participating in the parade must represent existing clubs and organizations that represent the academic curriculum of Pell City High School.”

But Phillips and Youngblood aren’t giving up. They’ve created a change.org petition and are hopeful Gov. Kay Ivey will weigh in with her support.

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