MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The Moss Point School District is coming under fire for what one group calls anti-gay bullying and harassment at its schools.
The Southern Poverty Law Center claims the school has done little to help protect gay students.
Destin Holmes stood in front of Magnolia Junior High Thursday and told reporters she's a lesbian that's happy with her sexuality, but many at her old school were not.
"I am gay," Holmes said. "I feel comfortable dressing in a tomboyish way, in jeans, polo shirts and a hat."
The 16-year-old says there were students and teachers who would constantly tease and taunt her.
"They called me things like dyke, lesbian, freak, alien and they don't even know me. This would happen every day at school."
Holmes only stayed at the school a semester before the teasing became too much.
"Some mornings, I would pretend to be sick, so I didn't have to go to school and deal with being tormented."
Holmes and her grandmother claim they contacted the school board to no avail. That's when the Southern Poverty Law Center stepped in and began investigating.
"The investigation includes interviews with students and others in the community who described heckling accounts; including physical assaults of gay students in district schools, staff referring to gay or transgender students as 'he-she' or 'it,'" Sam Wolfe said.
District leaders told WLOX News this is currently an ongoing investigation and no comment would be made at this time on the allegations.
The SPLC sent a letter to the district demanding a comprehensive plan be put in place to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
"Schools have a legal obligation to address reported harassment and ensure environments where students can get about the business of learning rather than under constant attack."
The SPLC said if those demands are not met, a federal lawsuit could be filed.
"I hope the school will take this seriously and be more supportive of all students," Holmes said.
Southern Poverty Law Center members said they would like to meet with the district to come up with a comprehensive plan together.