Over 200 students at York High School held a rally to support a classmate who was bullied for being gay, Bangor Daily News reports.
Fourteen-year-old Garrett McCann said that, while most of his classmates have been supportive, a small group has bullied and harassed him both in person and online.
When McCann reported the bullying to his teachers, he was told to go to the principal. According to his father, Tim McCann, the school told him that his son "didn't go through the proper channels" to report the abuse.
"[It] makes you very angry, you’re somewhat helpless. Nobody wants to see their kid get picked or any kid get picked on," Tim McCann told the local NBC affiliate.
Garrett's mom, Julie McCann, told local ABC affiliate WMTW Portland that her older son was suspended from school last week after confronting one of his brother's alleged bullies.
The rally to support Garrett began at 6:30 a.m. and went on until well past the opening bell.
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The McCann family told Bangor Daily News that they feel encouraged by the outpouring of support.
"Hopefully, this will lead to a good outcome going forward," Tim McCann said. "I’m very proud of these students. Their message is about peace and love and protecting all kids from being bullied."
"It’s only about four or five or six people [who were being bullies] and look at the people here. They’re definitely outnumbered," Garrett told the outlet. "I mean I don’t even know some of these people, and here they are."
Refinery29 has reached out to York High School for comment.