Keller students debate hate on Facebook

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 17 at 8:22 PM

KELLER — Students at Keller High School say a Facebook page called "Abolish the GSA, Gay-Straight Alliance, at Keller High School" went up about a week ago. But it will soon be a part of the past.

While the person or persons who started it posted on the page that it is "not intend[ed] to be a hate group," it has certainly sparked controversy.

"I just think it's unnecessary," said Keller student Ryan Feifer. "There's a lot of people who just hate on things for no reason."

Students on campus at Keller High Monday said this is a divisive issue.

McKenzie Goeke, a student, said her friend relies on the Gay-Straight Alliance as an after-school support group, and she believes the club is needed.

"People get made fun of being gay, and they get bullied by people and they can have suicidal thoughts," Goeke said. "It is just not right for people to sit there and say that it's not okay for them to be gay."

But many students said because of their Christianity, there should also be a "Straight Club"  — another Facebook page that developed on this issue.

Mathew Murphy, a 15-year-old who spoke to News 8, didn't start the Straight Club page, but he supports what's on it.

"I think I'm standing up for my rights; if they want to call me a 'gay-basher,' you can call me a 'gay-basher,'" Murphy said. "But I just don't think it's right to be a homosexual."

Keller ISD officials said they learned of the Facebook page to Abolish the Gay-Straight Alliance after News 8 alerted them to the issue. The district has issued this statement:

"Keller ISD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law."

The words "sexual orientation" were not included in the Keller ISD statement. Officials told News 8 there would be no disciplinary action because the Facebook pages were developed after school hours.

Meanwhile, those responsible for the "Abolish the GSA" page say it will soon disappear from Facebook.

"Well since it seems I've offended people with this page, I will be deleting it," said a recent message. "I did not intend this to be a hate group, but some individuals took it as such. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding that was associated with this page, so in two weeks, it will be 'abolished.' ;) Facebook will not allow its deletion sooner."

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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