Lenoir City school yearbook page causes controversy

ALEXIS ZOTOS-6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - Students and parents in Lenoir City are embroiled in a heated controversy, all over a page in the high school yearbook.

Yearbooks were handed out Friday at Lenoir City High School and since then, the divisive discussion has spread to social media.

The page in question features a Lenoir City High School senior and the title "It's Ok To Be Gay."

The student, Zac Mitchell, shared his story with a classmate who in turn wrote a yearbook article for the school's "Pride Page." 

"I didn't think it was a big deal to be who you are because that's what they always told you to be who you are in school. So when they asked me, I told them that I knew I was gay when I was three years old," Mitchell explained.

But according to a Facebook page started by Lenoir City parents, they're not okay with the article.

The page called "Take a Stand Lenoir City" was formed Monday and asks the community to call the school's principal and superintendent to "let them know you are displeased with the lack of oversight and poor judgment."

6 News spoke Tuesday with one of the parents who formed the group. He said he had no comment. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had been removed.

Mitchell said he has received about a dozen messages from parents. "I got a lot of messages, like how could you do this to our school? You're such a shame," he said.

He also says the comments don't bother him because there have been just as many positive messages and in the end, the yearbook is about memories. These are his.

"I'm not ashamed of what I'm doing or what I said in the article or the people that don't like the article," Mitchell said. "If they want me to, they can bring the yearbook to me and I'll rip it out for them, I don't care."

6 News reached out to the school's principal, school board members and the superintendent on Tuesday. All of them refused to comment on the situation.

A Facebook page was created in support of gay rights, called "Take a Stand Against the Ignorance in Lenoir City." So far, more than 400 people have liked the page.