A state senator used foul language in a talk to high school students in his district but defended himself by saying he was just repeating what some students wrote about him on a Web site.
Sen. Scott Brown was discussing his stance on gay marriage during an assembly at King Philip Regional High School on Thursday when he decided to share the comments written about him and his family posted on a facebook.com page dedicated to a pro-gay rights history teacher at the school.
Brown, a Republican from Wrentham, opposes gay marriage in the only state that allows it.
“I hate scott brown” and “scott brown ascends from the underworld,” were two of the tamer comments on the site. Others contained profanities.
Some of the comments were aimed at Brown’s daughter, Ayla Brown, a former “American Idol” finalist.
He read the comments verbatim, even naming the students who wrote them in some cases, witnesses said.
“He was doing it loudly and pretty angrily,” student Rachel William told WHDH-TV. “Some of the teachers tried to stop him and said things like, ‘You shouldn’t be naming students.’”
Student Stephen Small said, “Some teachers immediately were outraged to hear the language that was used. ... Some people still feel it was inappropriate to read them word for word.”
Brown defended himself Friday.
“If the kids can write it, the kids can hear it,” Brown told The Associated Press.
Brown said that when he left the school Thursday he “felt really good” about the talk because many of the students seemed highly engaged in discussion.
“And now I find out I’m being portrayed as a vile-speaking hatemonger. It’s pretty saddening. I feel very badly that I’m being victimized here,” he said.
Phone calls to the school principal’s office Friday were not immediately returned.