Plans for anti-gay club found on student’s computer in Rockville middle school

A Rockville, Maryland, middle school student is facing punishment after plans to create a “homophobe” club was found on their computer by school officials.

On Friday, the principal of Earle B. Wood Middle School sent an email to parents saying that a teacher had found a presentation and Google form called “Homophobic Club Hub” on a school-provided Chromebook.

Principal Heidi L. Slatcoff wrote that an internal investigation concluded on Friday, with administrators finding that the documents from two to four months ago had been shared with other two students before they were deleted.

“We found no evidence that any other students participated in generating the documents, and no evidence that a club was formed,” Slatcoff wrote.

“This is clearly a hate/bias incident,” Slatcoff wrote. “And I must say that discrimination in any form cannot be tolerated.”

Slatcoff wrote that the students involved will face consequences in line with the district’s student code of conduct.

“While students who commit this unacceptable act will receive consequences, as per MCPS Student Code of Conduct, it is important that we continue our work with our students to help them understand the impact of hateful and hurtful words,” she said in the letter.

On Feb. 2, Slatcoff sent a similar letter alluding to a “recent uptick in the use of racially charged words, disparaging comments about gender or sexual identity, and bullying behaviors,” but did not mention the discovery of the homophobic club files or the investigation.

The letter said that school counselors will be going into classes to “conduct lessons on topics of bias and discrimination. Administrators and counselors will continue to reinforce and reiterate our expectations around bullying and harassment.”

In the past year, Montgomery County has seen an increase in racist, antisemitic, homophobic and discriminatory actions against other identities. Several schools in the system have reported finding swastikas and other forms of hate speech drawn on classroom desks.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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