Education

Gay Student Asante Cotman Suspended; Wore High Heels

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A Virginia teenager who describes himself as the only openly gay boy in his school has been suspended for wearing high heels to class.

WWBT-TV reports that 17-year-old Asante Cotman showed up at Charles City High School last week wearing the shoes. He said Principal Stephanie Crutchfield pulled him out of class and ordered him to take off the shoes. He refused.

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"She said I was being disrespectful because she told me to take them off and I didn't take them off," Cotman said. "I don't understand disrupting the class, because nobody was talking about it. Everybody was doing their work. People have seen me wear heels before. People see me with a pocketbook every day."

Crutchfield ultimately suspended Cotman from school for three days.

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"They suspended me for being gay," he said. "I'm missing a lot of classes. I'm missing classes that I need to graduate.

Cotman points out that girls are allowed to wear high heels, so why can't he?

The schools superintendent said she is investigating the incident.

"I want Asante to know that we want him to be comfortable," Dr. Janet Crawley said. "We want him to enjoy his school environment and we're going to look out for his rights just like we look out for the rights of any child here."