News » National

Pa. Teacher Filmed Gay Student at Prom to Mock in Class

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday May 17, 2012

A Pennsylvania high school teacher allegedly filmed an openly gay student and his date, who is a transgender girl, at the school's prom last week. reports that a Hanover Area High School teacher who was chaperoning the senior prom approached Jared Swank, 18, and his transgender date and asked if she could film the pair. She allegedly said she wanted to show the recording to her daughter to give her a lesson in diversity. But Swank says the video was shown to the teacher's science class, where students mocked and laughed at the couple.

"I was not happy that this was shown in class," Swank told the Citizen's Voice. "She told me she wanted to show her daughter. Not the entire school."

Swank was not present when the teacher allegedly showed the video but he heard about the incident from other students.

The teen's mother, Dawn Mendygral, says that Swank has been bullied for years but little has been done to protect him. "I don't understand why it was played in the first place, in a school, in a classroom," she said. She attended a school board meeting where she aired out her feelings about the incident.

"He was embarrassed, he was chastised," she told school officials. "As a matter of fact, we just came from the gas station to get a drink before we got here and some of Hanover Area students yelled [an expletive out] the window. So that's what it's done. It's antagonized more bullying."

John Pericci, the school board president, said that the board only heard about the incident a few days ago.

"Of course I'm surprised and, more so, concerned," he said. "We can't determine yet what's true and what's not true."

Swank graduates in less than a month but hopes that his case impacts LGBT students at the high school.

"I've been bullied constantly through high school with very little sympathy from school officials," he told the media. "I'm going to graduate in less than a month. I will be OK. My concern is for the next class and classes after that, who, if nothing happens, will have to deal with the bullying and torture I experienced, something that no kid growing up should go through."

In a similar case, but with a fairytale ending, a lesbian couple from Las Vegas was crowned prom king and queen at their high school. Noel-Marie Kot and her girlfriend Miranda Haeick came out as lesbians during their prom but found support from fellow students and teachers while campaigning for the titles. But the couple also experienced some resistance as well as one teacher allegedly refused to hand out ballots after she learned that Kot's was running for prom king.

"The night of prom, my girlfriend and I (along with the rest of the court nominees) were called to the center of the stage," said Kot. "Everyone was crowded around awaiting the final results. Silence filled the room and the girl on the microphone announced, '2012 senior prom royalty is... Noel-Marie Kot and Miranda Haeick.' Everybody went ballistic. People were crying. Everybody was taking pictures of us. I couldn't even speak. We were both crowned and danced for the first time as Prom King and Queen."


  • , 2012-05-17 16:13:07

    I am sorry, and I will be bashed by many, but I don’t really agree with the fairy tale story, I am a gay Man, a prom king is usually a MALE, The queen, a female, I would never run for or wish to be a prom queen, I happen to agree with ballots not being given if a female wants to be king. Sorry, this is the sort of thing that Helps the snti-gay cause.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-05-17 21:52:37

    Unbelievable behavior by this instructor...Odds are good the principal will attempt to quietly make this go away. This needs to be brought to the attention of the state board of education. Mr. Weakly, Congratulations on your accomplishment and best of luck and happiness for your future. :)

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-05-18 05:34:57

    Darn auto correct... I meant Mr. Swank.

  • , 2012-05-22 09:10:40

    I think sexest and heterosexual terms need to become gender neutral. No more king and queen no more husband and wife. Just person and person. Your genitalia does not make you who you are and men and women are no different. They’re just raised unequally in a society full of lies and false masks

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