JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local high school student said his Christian school is discriminating against him because he's gay, and he's taken to an online petition to fight back.
Bryce Goodson said that he came out as gay on Twitter and the next day was told by school officials at Providence High School not to attend or participate in a school function.
The petition reads, "Shortly after I came out as gay on Twitter, I was contacted by a teacher and was told that the Providence School Board decided it would be unwise for me to attend the Pony Awards (the awards ceremony for our school musical, Little Women)." The petition has a goal of 1,000 signatures and as of Thursday had more than 400 signatures.
Goodson said that he's no longer enrolled at Providence High School and declined an interview. His father said despite the online petition they're not commenting at this point.
"I'm aware of it. We're waiting on some feedback from Providence. Obviously (we are unhappy), we've had students there for two kids for 12 years. (We're) quite surprised with their behavior on the issue," Ed Goodson, Bryce Goodson's father, said.
Bryce Goodson wrote that he created the petition because, "I want to make anyone else at Providence who is gay or questioning feel at least somewhat more confident in who they are."
Officials at the school declined an on-camera interview, but the head of school, Dr. Julie Giardino, said they are not aware of the petition but did say, "We would act in our statement of faith and mission statement. Providence School, in partnership with home and church, is committed to disciple students to boldly model Christ-likeness. We hold the state of marriage to be an expression of a Biblical standard and the union between a man and a woman."