Students 'kiss-in' to protest yearbook advisor's decision
By Christopher Anderson
Camera Staff Writer
Boys kissed boys and girls kissed girls — they kissed often and long.
That was the scene at Boulder High School on Wednesday when students gathered in a "kiss-in" to protest the school yearbook adviser's decision not publish a photo of two girls kissing.
"The whole point of this demonstration is to show that students won't tolerate narrow-mindedness," said Caitlin Rucker, 17, a Fairview student, who joined Boulder High's cause.
"It may not be my school, but it is the point they are trying to make," she said. "And I support that point."
The controversy stems from a decision made by faculty adviser Ruth Palmer not to publish a photo of the two girls kissing unless the photographer could provide confirmation from the girls' parents that the photo was OK to run in the student yearbook. The yearbook does include several photos of heterosexual couples kissing.
Palmer, who had not supervised the publication of a yearbook before, said she was concerned that the parents might not know of the girls' sexual orientation and might not want the yearbook to be the venue for finding out. Principal Chris King said he supports her decision.
Palmer said she now regrets running photos of anyone kissing, because the decision did create a double standard. The mother of one of the girls said the decision not to run the photo was "very hypocritical."
The two students, who currently do not attend Boulder High but go to alternative schools, said they felt that the decision did not protect them but singled them out.
"I didn't like it because the other people did not have to get parent confirmation and I did," said India Bhotia. "That kind of discriminated me."
The other girl — who asked to be identified only by her first name, Becky — said she didn't discuss the photo with her parents because "I felt like I shouldn't have to." She said her parents were "proud" of her for participating in Wednesday's protest.
Both girls said their parents have known for a long time about their sexual orientation.
Photographer Zee Janmohamed said she submitted the photo of the two girls kissing to "put a little twist into the yearbook."
She said she felt the criterion was a "double standard" because the heterosexual couples did not need parent permission to have their photos run.
Any opinions? What would your school do? Do you think there could be (or are there already?) pics of non-straigth couples in the yearbook?