Arkansas high school censors yearbook profile of gay student’s coming out

  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Mar 16, 2014 10:37 PM GMT

    Arkansas high school censors yearbook profile of gay student’s coming out

    Taylor Ellis, a junior at Sheridan High School in Sheridam, Ark.

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/03/arkansas-high-school-censors-yearbook-profile-of-gay-students-coming-out/



    http://www.sheridanschools.org/SheridanHigh.cfm?subpage=53944

    http://www.sheridanschools.org/


    https://twitter.com/SFASheridan
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Mar 17, 2014 6:13 PM GMT
    paz_daddy saidthat's fucked up.


    But not very surprising....
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    Mar 18, 2014 12:38 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidPerhaps the administration feels that the annual yearbook isn't the proper forum? Maybe? Possible?

    Arkansas does not give school administrators the option of deciding "forum" in censoring student publications. The articles give clear references to what the law permits, and the administrators seem to have exceeded them.
  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Mar 18, 2014 2:50 AM GMT
    HRC Letter to the school http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/HRC_AR_Letter.pdf
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    Mar 18, 2014 4:45 AM GMT
    metta8 saidHRC Letter to the school http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/HRC_AR_Letter.pdf

    Wow, nice and powerful letter.
  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Mar 19, 2014 5:56 PM GMT
    Ark. school district defends censoring gay student’s coming out story

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/03/ark-school-district-defends-censorship/



    http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/update-school-superintendent-defends-decision-censor-gay-student-s-profile

    They need a new superintendent.
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    Mar 19, 2014 6:08 PM GMT
    "The Student Press Law Center notes that student journalists in Arkansas are protected from most administrative censorship as a result of the Arkansas Student Publications Act.

    The law, passed in 1995, requires school boards to adopt student publication policies that recognize that students may exercise their right of expression, and that administrators only censor student publications that are obscene, libelous, constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy or incite students to commit unlawful acts."
  • Being

    Posts: 191

    Mar 19, 2014 6:19 PM GMT
    I agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.
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    Mar 19, 2014 6:33 PM GMT
    textilemaker saidI agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.

    Except the Arkansas law doesn't allow school administrators to prohibit it, if the student publishers want it. Furthermore, the student was already out, months earlier. He was just expressing his feelings and his personality, as other students did about theirs.

    The admin's excuse that they were "protecting" him from bullying was an insulting lie. They just didn't want anything gay to appear in the yearbook, plain & simple. Keep the gays hidden under the rug.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Mar 19, 2014 7:19 PM GMT
    There is an HRC petition you can sign at:

    https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1837
  • Being

    Posts: 191

    Mar 20, 2014 12:31 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    textilemaker saidI agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.

    Except the Arkansas law doesn't allow school administrators to prohibit it, if the student publishers want it. Furthermore, the student was already out, months earlier. He was just expressing his feelings and his personality, as other students did about theirs.

    The admin's excuse that they were "protecting" him from bullying was an insulting lie. They just didn't want anything gay to appear in the yearbook, plain & simple. Keep the gays hidden under the rug.


    Art_Deco, you have to consider what others might have feel about having that in the year though. Most parents and teenagers don't want to deal the topic of homosexaulity.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 20, 2014 12:42 AM GMT
    textilemaker said
    ART_DECO said
    textilemaker saidI agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.

    Except the Arkansas law doesn't allow school administrators to prohibit it, if the student publishers want it. Furthermore, the student was already out, months earlier. He was just expressing his feelings and his personality, as other students did about theirs.

    The admin's excuse that they were "protecting" him from bullying was an insulting lie. They just didn't want anything gay to appear in the yearbook, plain & simple. Keep the gays hidden under the rug.


    Art_Deco, you have to consider what others might have feel about having that in the year though. Most parents and teenagers don't want to deal the topic of homosexaulity.


    Then they don't have to buy one. Why is their problem with homosexuality a problem for someone else?
  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Mar 20, 2014 2:08 AM GMT
    Outrage grows over gay high school student in Arkansas being banned from yearbook

    HRC delivers petition with 35,000 signatures in support of Taylor Ellis



    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/outrage-grows-over-gay-high-school-student-arkansas-being-banned-yearbook190314
  • Being

    Posts: 191

    Mar 20, 2014 3:25 AM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    textilemaker saidI agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.

    Of course you do. You're a religious nutcase who thinks a bakery should be able to get up on its soap box whenever a gay person wants a cake---funny how cowards always hide behind the bible and make up whatever shit they want in it. icon_rolleyes.gif Enough people have gone into these bigoted places to "test their Christian resolve" and find that they have no problem baking a "solstice cake" or a "divorce cake" or "Halloween cake" or whatever....nope, just gay cakes apparently are the work of the devil. Never mind that Jesus never said a word about gay people but railed about divorce in no uncertain terms.

    And enough posters in this thread have already pointed out that the school admin was overreaching and is on shaky legal ground.

    Be careful what you wish for with this "people should be able to discriminate against anyone they want" policy....it's gonna bite Christians on the ass more than anyone else. If nothing else, it certainly shows that these so-called "Christians" are nothing more than hypocrites. They're an embarrassment to the God they pretend they listen to.


    First of all, I'm not a relgious. Second, I still feel the student is rocking the boat.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 20, 2014 11:39 PM GMT
    textilemaker said
    I still feel the student is rocking the boat.


    You have much to learn. Rocking the boat is what started the modern gay rights movement.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 22, 2014 3:02 PM GMT
    Say cheese!!!

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  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Mar 22, 2014 3:54 PM GMT
    textilemaker said
    ART_DECO said
    textilemaker saidI agree with southbeach on this one. Coming out using a yearbook isn't the proper medium to do so.

    Except the Arkansas law doesn't allow school administrators to prohibit it, if the student publishers want it. Furthermore, the student was already out, months earlier. He was just expressing his feelings and his personality, as other students did about theirs.

    The admin's excuse that they were "protecting" him from bullying was an insulting lie. They just didn't want anything gay to appear in the yearbook, plain & simple. Keep the gays hidden under the rug.


    Art_Deco, you have to consider what others might have feel about having that in the year though. Most parents and teenagers don't want to deal the topic of homosexaulity.
    That is a good, valid point. A high school yearbook should be about the good times and happy portraits of people along with lessons learned. It should not be a published venue for political and sexual expression. In a way, the administrators where just trying to prevent a possible major backlash against this gay kid and others like him at that Arkansas high school.
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    Mar 22, 2014 4:11 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    In a way, the administrators where [sic] just trying to prevent a possible major backlash against this gay kid and others like him at that Arkansas high school.

    I hope some day you will come to realize how asinine that statement is. Especially given the specifics in this case.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2014 6:33 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidThat is a good, valid point. A high school yearbook should be about the good times and happy portraits of people along with lessons learned. It should not be a published venue for political and sexual expression. In a way, the administrators where just trying to prevent a possible major backlash against this gay kid and others like him at that Arkansas high school.


    Actually, there is nothing that says a high school yearbook should not contain political content. Sexual expression is always a part of the content. You always have sections which highlight couples whether it be at proms or other events.

    A high school yearbook profile is meant to showcase people who stood out during the year. This can be for various reasons which include individuals who are: activists, entertainers, nerds, geeks, jocks, kooks, etc.

    It would be interesting to see what was contained in the other 5 profiles for this year, and to review for other years.

    I'm sure you would find people talking about all kinds of things including religion and politics, which I'm sure some people would prefer not to read about.

    There is no reason to censor anyone for simply conveying a positive message and memory of their time in school. This is especially true at this school where he was already out and accepted.