NJ High School's ‘Too Gay’ Banner Sparks Controversy in Wake of Orlando Shooting | NBC Bay Area
Orlando Nightclub Massacre

Orlando Nightclub Massacre

Coverage of the Orlando nightclub massacre, June 12, 2016

NJ High School's ‘Too Gay’ Banner Sparks Controversy in Wake of Orlando Shooting

The sophomore's project has the full support of the school administration

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    A gay pride banner proclaiming "Too Gay" hanging from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, is spurring controversy in the wake of the massacre that claimed at least 49 lives in Orlando over the weekend. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016)

    A gay pride banner proclaiming "Too Gay" hanging from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, is spurring controversy in the wake of the massacre that claimed at least 49 lives in Orlando over the weekend. 

    Sophomore John Bell says he came up with the idea long before Sunday's mass shooting at the gay night club in Orlando, and that the banner intends to ask a question, not making a statement. 

    "In society, a lot of straight people may view people as 'too gay' or too flamboyant and when we are open about our gayness are we perceived as 'too gay?'" Bell, an advanced placement art history student who conceived the banner as his final project, asked in an exclusive interview with NBC 4 New York. 

    Fellow student Bianca Bristol told NBC 4 New York that she felt uncomfortable entering school under a banner dealing with LGBT issues. 

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    Demetrice Naulings decided to flee a bathroom at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and lived. His best friend, Eddie Justice, got left behind, and died. Through tears, Naulings talks about that night. "My friend wasn't supposed to die in the bathroom on the floor," Naulings said. (Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016)

    "Not everyone is gay so those in the club should stay in the club," Bristol said. 

    Bristol said she also worries the banner may make her school a target for the type of violence seen in Orlando. 

    Other students dismissed that fear, applauding the banner for showing how inclusive the South Orange-Maplewood school district has become. 

    Bell's project has the full support of the administration. 

    Principal Elizabeth Aaron emailed parents that it was planned over several months.