WRENTHAM - It was unprofessional and inappropriate for state Sen. Scott Brown to read obscenity-laced comments at a high school assembly, several King Philip Regional High School students said Friday.
The students said Brown, R-Wrentham, crossed the line when he read the comments and singled out students by name at the assembly.
Brown said he was defending himself and his family against comments posted by students on an Internet Web site discussion of gay marriage.
He said some of the written comments were directed at his daughter.
The senator also handed out printouts that contained the foul language.
Students leaving the school Friday afternoon said some of their classmates were reduced to tears by Brown.
They said students should not have used swear words to describe Brown on the Web site, but they added he should be mature enough to know he should not have repeated those words at a school assembly.
"I think if you are going to be a politician, you should be ready for criticism," senior Evan White said.
He said it was "outrageous" for Brown to "lash out" at the students.
One student defending Brown is junior William Hunt.
He said teachers and students are angry at Brown, but they are blowing the incident out of proportion.
"They got offended by his language, which I find ridiculous because they all know the language. I thank him for coming and influencing us," he said.
But others said the reaction of the school was running against Brown.
Ross Douglas, another senior, said many students were talking about the incident Friday and were upset at Brown.
He said he heard some students left the assembly crying.
Sam Jackson, a junior, said the students think Brown "verbally attacked" them.
"He should have been more professional," Jackson said.
Senior Casey Sughrue said a lot of students are angry about the incident and there was a lot of talk about it at the school.
She said some students believe Brown set out to "make fun of the students."
"It was pretty inappropriate, what he said," junior Chris Willson said.
Hunt, the student who supports Brown, said the senator was also reacting to negative comments teacher Joe Ferreira has made about Brown during class discussions of gay marriage.