Rainbows and love: US students rally in support of bullied gay classmate
Students from York High School, Maine, gathered to support bullied gay classmate Garrett McCann. Source: @KatieBavoso

If you need your faith in humanity restoring, then here is a great example of good people coming together to do a good thing for another human being.

More than 200 students at a Maine high school took to the streets this week bearing rainbow flags and signs of love in support of a 14-year-old classmate who has been the target of intense bullying because he is gay.

According to Bangor Daily News, Garrett McCann, who attends York High School in Maine, United States, came out as gay this summer and has been subjected to intense bullying from a handful of students. One altercation ended with McCann’s older brother being suspended and facing criminal charges after he took on one of his sibling’s bullies.

McCann told Bangor Daily News that he “definitely” felt supported when he saw the rally that began at 6.30am on Monday morning.

“It’s only about four or five or six people [who were being bullies] and look at the people here. They’re definitely outnumbered,” he said. “I mean I don’t even know some of these people, and here they are.”

Several of the students remained long into the day to show their support, not just for McCann but for all students of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Students from across the board came out in solidarity with their LGBT counterparts. Football players, captains of sports teams, people from the drama club all came out in unity against intolerance.

McCann’s father, who was a part of the rally, said most of the students at the school had been supportive of his son, but “a couple of kids were bullying him” since school started.

The culprits were using social media and messaging apps to harass his son, Tim McCann said.

“They called him ‘faggot’ and some other crude stuff I am probably embarrassed to even say to you.”

In a letter to parents of all York High students, principal Karl Francis wrote that all parties involved in the bullying had been met with and action was being taken to prevent any further abuse.

Francis also confirmed that McCann’s older brother had “physically assaulted” another student, although it now appeared the “assault was a retaliatory measure.” Police were called to the school and the brother was placed in custody.

In a statement handed out at the rally, students said they were, “standing out here today to rally for EVERYONE being bullied, to spread a positive message of gay pride, to stand for the LGBTQ+ community and to bring awareness to hate crimes.”

Well played York High, more power to ya.

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