Hopewell investigating after mom claims school clears derogatory - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Hopewell investigating after mom claims school clears derogatory term

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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) -

A local school system is now investigating after a mom calls NBC 12. She claims a derogatory term for gay people is being allowed in school.

Warning: the following story contains language that some may find offensive.

That mom, who is a lesbian, was upset because she says a Hopewell school official told her child it was okay. This allegedly happened at Patrick Copeland Elementary School. The mother says she has proof of the administrator's actions on a cell phone recording.

"I'm disgusted," said Melissa Hula. "I don't want my children dealing with homophobia. They deal with it enough."

Hula is raising a family with her same sex partner and was outraged when her daughter came home recalling an exchange with the assistant principal over girls being called an "f" word. We are not talking about the expletive, but a word considered derogatory to gay people. The kids responded as one might expect.

"Don't say that. That's a bad word," recalls Hula's daughter 9 year old Allanah. "[The Assistant Principal] said no it's not. Boys are f's and girls are something."

Allanah says she was shocked.

"I was feeling like why would you say that?" questioned Allanah. "You are the assistance principal."

Mom confronted the Assistant Principal at Patrick Copeland Elementary School.

"I'm a lesbian living with my lesbian partner," said Hula to the school official as she recorded the entire exchange on her cell phone. "They said that you said a girl wasn't a f****t…boys are f****ts."

Hula says the administrator did not deny the claim.

"How dare you tell my child that word is acceptable," said Hula. "That that word is okay as long as you are talking about a boy and not a girl."

She wants action.

"Maybe sensitivity training would help," said Hula. "I don't know."

Hula wants an apology as well.

"No child should hear that," said Hula. "And to hear that from an adult, an authority figure, a vice principal...it just spreads hate. That's all it does."

Hopewell Schools released the following statement:

"Any matter that a concerned parent brings to our attention is also a concern for us. This is now a personnel matter. There will be an investigation like all personnel matters."

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