Lane Tech administrators ‘disheartened’ after homophobic comments allegedly made toward students at Big Boy Gyros

CHICAGO — A North Side high school issued an email to parents saying they were disheartened after hearing that an employee at a nearby restaurant may have made homophobic comments toward their students.

On Tuesday, a student at Lane Tech High School, who goes by Jolie Mahr on Instagram, posted on her social media page that she visited Big Boy Gyros, which is across the street from the school, with a group of friends.

She said when they got to the establishment, they were preparing to order when two of her male friends who were dating shared a hug. She said the cashier shouted at them and told them “no hugging in here.”

She said she initially thought the cashier meant that PDA wasn’t allowed, until he allegedly made comments that suggested he had an issue with a same sex couple hugging.

“But I can’t have any of that in here,” the student said the cashier told the group.

Mahr said she and her group of friends packed up their belongings and left.

She said as they were leaving the restaurant, the cashier shouted “Yeah, get out of here, we don’t want your kind in here!”

The high school sent out an email Tuesday evening saying they would not tolerate hatred or support an organization that promotes it. They said they were disheartened to learn that their students may have been treated disrespectfully and made to feel unwelcome at the restaurant.

“We support any students, staff and community members that choose to not support Big Boy Gyros,” the email said.

Some people have posted negative reviews on the restaurant’s Yelp page in response to the alleged comments.

WGN reached out to Big Boy Gyros, but an employee refused to comment.

Read the full email sent by Lane Tech:

Dear Lane Tech Family,

Earlier today we were informed of an incident involving some of our students at Big Boy Gyros,  3541 N Western Ave.  An innocent display of affection was shared by two young students which prompted a restaurant staff member to shout homophobic phrases at our students.  When our students proceeded to leave, he made it a point to share that “they” (LGBT+) were not welcomed.

As a school, we are disheartened because our students were treated with disrespect and made to feel unwelcome.  As a community, we stand strong and we want to make it clear that Lane Tech does not stand for discrimination of any kind.  We will not tolerate hatred and will not support an organization that promotes hatred of any kind.  We support any students, staff and community members that choose to not support Big Boy Gyros.  This incident will be addressed in person by Lane Tech’s administration and any questions or concerns can be sent to Gabriela Escobar at Gbescobar@cps.edu.

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