Several weeks ago, students at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee organized to form a Gay Straight Alliance at their school to address years of anti-LGBT bullying of youth on campus. At the beginning of the school year, Principal Maurice Moser ordered students to stop circulating a petition in support of the new club. Last week, Principal Moser assaulted a pro-GSA student in the group named Chris Sigler.
The latest incident started last Tuesday when Sigler wore a t-shirt that read "GSA: We've got your back" to school. A teacher directed him to cover the shirt when he wore it in the future. Knowing that he had a right of free expression to wear the shirt, Sigler wore the shirt again on Thursday. When he did so, Principal Moser ordered all students out of the classroom, except for Sigler’s sister Jessica, who refused to leave. Both Chris and Jessica Sigler allege that Moser grabbed Sigler’s arm, shoved him, and chest-bumped him repeatedly while asking “Who’s the big man now?” When their mother, Linda Sigler, arrived at the school, she reported finding her son seated in a desk with Moser leaning over and shouting in Sigler’s face.
The Sigler family filed report about the assault which is being investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. Deputies interviewed Chris Sigler, his teacher and Principal Mosby, but did not question Jessica Sigler who witnessed the entire incident. Given the level of intimidation and hostility that GSA-supportive students have experienced in recent weeks, TEP believes that the Sheriff is not fully and fairly investigating the assault of Chris Sigler by his Principal by leaving a key witness out of the investigation.