Openly gay El Campo HS senior bullied after homecoming king nomination

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
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Justin Boone's excitement over his nomination for homecoming king was short-lived.

EL CAMPO, Texas (KTRK) -- An El Campo High School senior who was nominated for homecoming king says he was bullied for being gay.

Justin Boone said when he first learned about the nomination, he and his whole family were excited.

"It was really exciting. I was a little nervous," Boone said.

"We were so excited and my whole family, we were just thrilled," said Erica Matula, Justin's mother.

After the nomination, Justin received a screen shot of a group text. It showed a message that was sent by a classmate calling him a homophobic slur and said if he wins, he would move schools.

It was so bad that the day the homecoming king was announced, a day that Justin had been looking forward to, he decided not to go to school at all.

"Just the homophobic comments, I just didn't feel like hearing it," Boone said. "If I did win I heard some people were going to boo or something, and I just didn't feel like going through that."

"I just couldn't believe someone would be that cruel to do that to him, because he doesn't deserve it," Matula said.

His mother said she told the El Campo School District about the text. She wishes they would do more to raise awareness about bullying, and so does Justin.

"We need to acknowledge that the school does have these bullying tendencies, and it's not being acknowledged by anyone," Matula said. "And I feel like the school can take a step forward and try something new."

We reached out to the superintendent numerous times and did not get a response.

While the bullying did hurt, Justin and his mom also got a lot of supporting messages, and that's made all the difference.

"A lot of people came up to me and texted me and really supported me," Boone said.

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