High School Student Sues Softball Coach for Outing Her to ParentsS

A Texas high school softball player has sued her coach and school because, the student claims, her coach told her mother that she's a lesbian. Which is usually not how you want your mom to find out you're gay.

The student, a sophomore at Kilgore High School in East Texas who is named only in the complaint by the initials S.W., is suing her softball coach Cassie Newell, assistant coach Rhonda Fletcher, and Kilgore's assistant athletic director Douglas Duke for invasion of privacy. According to the complaint, Newell—who was an aspiring quarterback in the Independent Women's Football League before tearing her knee and settling down to coaching—and Fletcher confronted S.W. before a softball game last March over what appears to be some sort of love triangle. The two women accused the high school sophomore of engaging in a sexual relationship with "another girl" and of spreading rumors that this other girl was "Coach Newell's girlfriend."

It's not clear whether the other girl actually was Newell's girlfriend, or whether Newell is herself gay, but the complaint describes the girl in question as having "interacted with Newell at a number of school events." The complaint says Newell and Fletcher then insisted that S.W. tell her mother about the sexual relationship, and threatened to keep her out of that night's softball game if she didn't.

But before the game even started, Fletcher and Newell called Barbara Wyatt, S.W.'s mother, and asked her to meet them at the school:

High School Student Sues Softball Coach for Outing Her to ParentsS

After outing S.W. to her mother, Newell and Fletcher kicked her off the softball team. This all happened in March; Wyatt tried repeatedly to file complaints to the school board about Newell and Fletcher's behavior, but got nowhere.

Kilgore's superintendent of schools Jody Clements told the Houston Press that outing minor students against there will is the appropriate way to deal with gay kids: "We feel confident we handled it the right way. But that's why there is a legal system. We'll proceed and let the courts decide what was right."

The whole complaint is here [pdf].

[Softball photo via Laura Padgett/Flickr]