WRENTHAM, Mass. – 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.
"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.
"What I was doing was reading from what they had written about me and about my family," Brown said. "I actually called them on it. I said 'Now there's hate speech and then there's respectful proper speech."
The mother of the student who created the site told the station that she thought Brown acted inappropriately.
The school's administration declined to comment.