YORK — More than 100 parents and students staged a rally Monday morning outside York High School, claiming that school administrators have not done enough to protect a gay student from being bullied.

Students stood along Webber Road holding signs that said “Be Kind” and “You are Beautiful” in the peaceful demonstration.

The protest prompted a response from York High Principal Karl Francis, who said York police are investigating the alleged bullying.

A police spokesman confirmed that one juvenile student has been charged with assault in connection with the incident, but it is not the person who bullied the gay student.

“Violence is never an acceptable solution to conflict. All students should feel safe at York High School and we hold that as a priority,” Francis said Monday evening in a statement emailed to WCSH-TV. “There is a very difficult balance a school administrator must take between the communication of details and the rights of students and families to privacy. I cannot and will not speak to specific details. What I can offer is that the information currently circulating through the school community is not an accurate representation of a tragic event.”

Police Sgt. Steve Spofford said Monday evening that one high school student was charged with assault Friday.


But Spofford said the student is not the individual accused of bullying the gay student. He said he did not have additional details.

Spofford said the investigation into the alleged bullying is continuing and further charges could be filed against those involved.

“The schools and the police department are working together on this,” Spofford said.

Students and their parents told WCSH that the gay student has been bullied so badly that they’ve called school administrators to complain.

Some students said the bullying has not eased up.

In his statement, Francis praised the students who rallied before classes began Monday.

“We have dedicated the day to listen to students and look forward to working alongside them to ensure that all students feel welcome, safe and supported at York High School,” he said. “This morning’s rally signified a statement for unity and respect for all York students.”

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