Melissa Hart says she listened on speakerphone as her 17-year-old daughter Amanda was mistreated by the assistant principal at her school.

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — An internal investigation in underway at Charlestown High School after the assistant principal was accused of using homophobic slurs.

Melissa Hart says she listened on speaker phone as her 17-year-old daughter Amanda was mistreated by the assistant principal at her school.

Hart says her daughter has a history of enduring homophobia from school administrators, teachers and students, including name-calling and public shaming.

She said it led to Amanda skipping class last week.

“This past Monday, she’s like, ‘I just didn’t want to go to class and deal with him. I just did not want to deal with him,'” Hart said of a conversation she had with her daughter.

Amanda and her girlfriend hid in a bathroom watching videos on their phones until they say they were caught 30 minutes into class by the school’s assistant principal, J.T. Cox. Cox is also a city councilperson in Charlestown.

“He told them to get their ****, and get their gay ***** out of there,” Hart said of the conversation she heard over the phone. “I asked Amanda, ‘Who is he talking to?’ and she said me and the other student.”

Hart stayed on the phone after hearing that confrontation as her daughter was taken to the principal’s office. She was shocked as the questioning continued.

“The principal asked her two or three different times if they were in there having intercourse,” Melissa said. “Amanda continuously told her no, we were watching TikTok videos and eating cookies.”

After an hour of questioning, and refusing to let school administrators search her backpack, Amanda received the standard punishment for skipping; one hour of detention.

Hart said the punishment for skipping makes sense, but the homophobia is unacceptable.

Greater Clark County’s own policy prohibits discrimination.

Southern Indiana Pride’s director Evan Stoner says anyone who sees it happening needs to report it.

“Parents, teachers and administrators who witness this discrimination… they need to have confidence the system is going to work,” Stoner said via Zoom. “My fear is that many times across the country, and here in Southern Indiana, people haven’t seen that system, when it comes to reporting discrimination, work the way it should.”

Hart has notified the school she intends to file a lawsuit.

“It’s 2020,” she began. “You want your community to grow? Then grow. But be ready to accept the diverse group of people that’s going to come with that growth.”

WHAS11 News reached out to the Greater Clark County Administrators to ask them about the allegations. Superintendent Mark Laughner sent us the following statement.

Since Friday, we have tried to get into contact with the assistant principal, councilperson J.T. Cox. WHAS11 News has spoken to people in his office and we have left several messages. He has not returned those messages. 

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