High School Principal Bullies Gay Student Activist

Author: October 5, 2011 8:12 pm

Just yesterday, we introduced a story about the beating of a gay couple at church, with some observations about conservative Christianity and the shameful intolerance towards gays still found in rural America.  Sorry to say, we have another disgusting example of that reality.

Chris Sigler is a 17-year old student at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tennessee.  Concerned about the bullying of gay students, Chris and some of his friends were interested in starting up a gay-straight student alliance (GSA).  The idea did not go over well with the High School Principal, Maurice Moser.

As we have reported in the past, (It’s Not “Christianity” It’s Just Hate; Let’s Treat It As Such!) in many conservative school districts, any recognition of gay students is often frowned upon as giving legitimacy to homosexuality.  Let’s face it folks, it’s easier for simple people to deny facts of life they don’t like, then learn, change and adapt.

In spite of Moser’s position, to his credit, Chris Sigler wasn’t about to give up on starting a GSA.  So Chris had the unmitigated gall to wear a T-shirt to school affirming his support for at a Gay Student Alliance group at Sequoyah High School.

T-shirt worn by 17 year old Chris Sigler that provoked a physical attack by his principal

When Moser got wind of Sigler’s T-shirt, he forgot he was an educator and principal and went into gangster-mode:  He found the classroom that Sigler was in, and ordered all the students except Sigler out of the room.  Sensing something dangerous was afoot, Sigler’s courageous sister who was also in the room, refused to leave her brother behind.

In the next few minutes according to Chris and his sister, his principal grabbed him by the arm, repeatedly shoved him and pumped him in the chest while shouting: “WHO’S THE BIG MAN NOW?”   When Chris’ Mom arrived at the school a short time later, she found Moser “in her son’s face”  verbally bullying him.

The Sigler’s have filed a complaint against Moser with the Monroe Country Sheriff’s Department.  The ACLU of Tennessee has written  a letter to the school district demanding that Sigler’s right to free-speech be protected.

While you are certainly welcome to share you reactions to this story in the comment section below, you may also want share your thoughts with Maurice Moser himself:
Maurice Moser, Principal [email protected]

Office:?(423) 442-9230?(423) 442-2383

WBIR Video Report on this incident


facebook comments:


  • My letter to the ‘man’:

    Dear Mr Moser

    I recently resigned from my $170,000 a year job to train as a primary school teacher because I wanted to end my working life doing something worthwhile. One of the things that gets mentioned most at the school where I’m working is bullying.  And one of things I hated most when I was at school was bullying. I remember teachers like you: ‘big men’ who thought it was tough to scare children.

    You are an embarrassment to the professional and a shameful example for young people. Might I suggest that you follow my example and find something to do that is more worthwhile than harassing students? 


    Sarah Wilson

    By the way (on National Coming Out Day) I am decidedly homosexual. And British.  But you might have gathered that by now.

  • Sorry, but becoming an educator will leave you with ZERO power to do anything about this. If you really want to have an effect, get together with others of a like mind in a community and take over a school board.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Haggard

    Homophobia…another word for ‘in the closet’

    last time i checked, folks, aggravated menacing was not covered by the 1st amendment…fire the guy, charge him, etc…

    case closed

  • dude what is wrong with you? your exactly whats wrong with kids these days, so you dont like gays thats fine your entitled to your opinon and everyone is but that gives you no right to belittle them for expressing them selves, and i hope you have a gay son so you can see what they go through every day and then you’ll regret this comment

  • How can you say you doubt the principal attacked the student? Just because he is a principal doesn’t mean he didn’t. I can tell you from experience that a 15 year long educator at my child’s school called him a name infront of the entire class. I approached the principal about it who then went to the educator and he admitted to doing it. The principal said the same thing to me at first that he doubts he said it because of how long he worked there. People lose their tempers, and do horrid things. I think the Principal should be fired, should not be allowed to work in the school system and should have to find some other job that is not directly working with school age children.

  • Ignorant troll is ignorant…and that troll is YOU! What Maurice Moser did to Chris is unacceptable and hateful…AND YOU ARE APPROVING?!? You are one hateful bigot and I bet that you must’ve been born into such an ignorant family who had never bothered to teach you any manners growing up! Oh, and that’s not freedom of speech, you idiot; that is HATE SPEECH, so never confuse hate speech with free speech because hate speech really kills! Oh, and grow up, get a life, get a job and get a girlfriend!

  • Fucking Homophobes

    How about you drag your Neanderthal knuckles and prejudices back into the stinking prehistoric cave you crawled out from?

  • Bullying is nothing more than terrorism on an inter-personal scale. So go ahead, “fucking queers”… I’m sure the “future terrorists in training” club have saved a spot for you at their “kids table”. *gives a friendly smile*

  • Awwwww…fucking queers… are you secretly really horny for a man. We understand how frightening it is to realize you want dick when you are telling the whole world you are “REAL MAN” who loves the ladies. We won’t try an embarass you further by researching the fact that you are either a hetero virgin, or gone soft on so many women–too many to count. Either way sweet thing, you have our sympathy. We hope someday you can find Mr. Right and just be the pussy-boy you’ve always dreamed of being!

  • Douglas Daluga

    Yeah, that whole 1st Amendment of the Constitution thing is really a pain in your ass isn’t it?

  • Perhaps you should re-read. Sigler IS the student- being represented by ACLU.

  • You are so right. Fire him immediately. And yes, he should be arrested.

  • I reckon this teacher just got to the end of his tether an re acted like anyone would do when you got a pupil just taking the mickey an paradeing around in a none conforming school uniform promoting gay awareness.This wasn,t allowed in school an this kid wanted to form his own gang of gays which would segregate the school like a prison…in the uk a 17 year old would just attack the teacher so all credit to this guy for sticking to his beliefs an he prodded an grabbed an arm at the most so if thats bullying an aggressive then pray god he never comes to the uk!!!…plus do you want your child going to a school where gays are walking around in t-shirts promoting homosexuality????…adam an eve not adam an steve!!!…be gay but be quiet!!!

  • Henry D. Rinehart

    Do YOU know what else is free speech, FQ? Bullying a bully! Yes, the most fun I’ve ever had is going up to some ignorant batbarf redneck like, well, YOU for example, who I saw bullying someone else, pissing him off enough to take a swing at me, and then breaking the arm he took a swing at me with! Now THAT’S entertainment! And do you know what a bully with a broken arm is like, FQ? That’s right, he whines and cries and begs for the person who hurt him not to hurt him any more, and says he’s sorry, and occasionally even pisses himself.

    You talk the talk, batbarf, but do you walk the walk?

    Henry D. Rinehart

  • Yeah, we “libs” are for free speech, but we know that there’s a very, VERY fine line between free speech and hate speech. Bullying is a great example of hate speech. Do you tolerate any kind of hate speech? I sure as hell don’t.

  • What a sad and sorry post, FQ. The kid wore a shirt with a few words the goon principal didn’t like so he was attached and assaulted? The Principal needs to be fired and you need to grow the hell up. I hope you’re as young as you appear because you still have time to save yourself from a life of hatred and bigotry. Shame on you. I pity you.

  • I think I’ll go out and make fun of a fucking idiot-starting with you, you homophobic prick!

  • Regardless of whether you agree with the child’s message or not, or even his political beliefs, it doesn’t negate the fact that what the principal did was wrong. It would be grossly disturbing to allow the principal to continue working on at this school when he clearly cannot control his behavior. And bullying goes beyond teasing and verbal harassment. He is paid by people such as yourself to maintain order in the public school. The fact that his conduct was disorderly, and especially towards a student, proves that this is not the job for him. And at any rate the Republicans have been against every major civil rights movement since the dawn of America. Examples are women’s suffrage, the freedom of African-Americans from slavery, desegregation, equal rights, and it’s 2011 and here we are with a new civil rights movement for the LGBT community.

  • Oh, please…..let me meet up with you somewhere, sometime. You miserable little coward. Drop a comment like this and then sneak away. You want some bullying? Come see me, asswipe. I’ll give you a personal tour of what it means to be bullied. Please, God, let me meet up with this moron, PLEASE!!!!!!!

  • I’m confused by your comments – you realize they, (ACLU), aren’t defending the Principal, but the student? Do you believe it’s the Principal’s right to express free speech like that?

  • Why do you suck so much? You worthless piece of shit.

  • Hate speech is not free speech. Intimidation is not free speech. It’s just terrorism.

  • Wrong plainly wrong. He should be fired for even trying this. Kudos to the Sister and to Chris for standing up to this monster. and Kudos for trying to start a GSA it would work out well and perhaps people would learn the good about the LGBT community.

  • The ACLU is supporting the student.

  • This is why I’m going to school to be an educator- to stop horrible people like this from having any ability to be around children, much less in charge of a school. He disgusts me.

  • No employee of any school system should be pushing any child around PERIOD ! when you cross the line like that , you need to access whether you should be in education , around children . Students have always demonstrated for things they believe in , its nothing new . I hope this man gets fired because how is he safe to be around children ? who could trust him ? Parents have no choice but to send their children to school and i’m sure it makes them very uneasy sending their child to this school .

  • This is disgusting, ignorant is what that principle is. He needs to be removed from the education sysetem

  • Bruno Villarreal

    I can’t believe the ACLU is defending this bastard. I know they support the civil rights of even people most others find odious, but this goes beyond free speech to assault. As an educator, that principal has the legal and ethical duty to protect the students in his care, regardless of his personal feelings about homosexuality. If we wanted to express his free speech rights as a private citizen, that’s fine, but he isn’t doing that AS A PRINCIPAL TO ONE OF HIS STUDENTS ON HIS OWN SCHOOL CAMPUS. Shame, ACLU — shame, shame, shame.

  • Judy Ashcraft

    I do not think this man should be given the opportunity to resign. FIRE HIM. No severance pay, no reference. Resignation can be misconstrued by other possible employers as ‘it was his choice to leave’. It should not be his place. Parents should charge him with child abuse and asault. Put him in jail. Just because he works for a school does not make him above the law.

  • I doubt very much that the principal struck him, though his intention was undoubtedly to physically intimidate him. Similarly, I imagine clearing the room was an effort to scare the kid into obedience. Kudos to the sister and to the boy for standing up to this man. I think the principal’s fate should hinge entirely upon his response to this incident. If defiant, he should be removed. If he’s willing to acknowledge his error in judgement and take steps to educate himself and staff regarding the relentless persecution gay youths face in this country daily, perhaps an official reprimand will be enough. This man may have simply been ignorant and to him it was about who was in charge and calling the shots at the school. On the other hand, if the verbal barrage directed at the student contained any homophobic language, I think that should seal his fate, but I saw no indication he used such language. Let’s show this educator of young children what education is supposed to look like and teach him rather than pile on him, no matter how deserving we think it is.

    • Henry D. Rinehart

      Sorry, Sean, but that level of deliberate malevolence is unacceptable. Just the fact that he ordered everyone else out of the room speaks to his intentions, and if the boy’s sister hadn’t stayed we might very well be reading a hospital report–or an obituary–instead of what did happen because there was still a witness.

      Removed. Immediately. And tried for the abuse of a minor, preferably, and barred from ever holding a position like that again.

      Henry D. Rinehart

  • How could an educator, especially someone who has worked his way up to school principal, even think of doing something like this? I’m a college professor, and even at this level, we act in many cases “in loco parentis” — in place of parents — with our young students. What kid of parent would treat his child this way? He had to know that what he was doing was wrong. Why else would he clear the room before he began his attack?

  • His resignation should be DEMANDED immediately and any liscense that allows him to supervise children revoked. Once he gets out of jail/prison he should never be allowed to work inj the school systems of this country.

  • This is just to much. That is physical abuse towards a minor. He deserves to go to jail. Especially for discrimination. That was an uncalled for innapropriate break out. This should not go unpuninshed. He clearly deserves to go to jail.

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