Administrators at a Catholic high school are asking students to not discuss the suspension of a gay teen with the media or in social media, he says.
Lance Sanderson, a student at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, asked administrators if he could bring a date to the Homecoming dance. A same-sex date.
Lance says he's been out since he was a freshman, and administrators previously had "offered support and encouragement" when he discussed bringing a same-sex date to the dance.
But another member of the administration had what Lance calls "a very different response."
"He mentioned a couple in Texas and said I was a lot like this one person, and said that the guy's boyfriend murdered him. It was a little rough."
Lance started a Change.org petition, and has been making headlines for over a week. And he decided to not attend this past Saturday night's dance, after being refused the right to bring a date of his choice.
But on Monday, he was suspended.
"When I arrived at the office I was told that the administration 'had 890 other students to worry about' and could not deal with me. I was told to go home for the week. I said goodbye to a few teachers and students, then drove home."
On Monday, NCRM spoke with Lance via email. We asked him how his fellow classmates have been about him wanting to bring a male date to the dance, and if they're being supportive now that he's been suspended.
"A lot of students have reached out to me expressing support privately," Lance tells us. "A few were supportive in the public, but the school asked everyone to stay out of the media and social media."
Thank You!!!!! https://t.co/qkwLtrlDJo
â€” Lance Sanderson (@TheLanceLuther) September 28, 2015
"Some of the more publicly supportive students were also brought down a bit by some less supportive ones," Lance adds.
He says his "parents are supportive and want to see positive change, but they're afraid of what will happen next."
Lance tells us he doesn't think the administrators who suspended him "have a good reason" for sending him home for the week.
Monday morning, when he showed up for school at 6:30 AM, he says, "I didn't approach them,"or "ask for anything. I was just doing work and talking to a teacher when they asked me to come to the office and leave."
Sometimes life makes you grow up faster than you want.
â€” Lance Sanderson (@TheLanceLuther) September 29, 2015
Image by Lance Sanderson via Twitter
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