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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » the time of the year to protest for GLBT rights at school

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Author Topic: the time of the year to protest for GLBT rights at school
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Looks like it's the time of the year for lots of protest for equal rights at schools for GLBT teens.

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?

"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi

[This message has been edited by Alaska (edited 05-25-2001).]

Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I actually find Palmer's decision understandable, to an extent. I don't know about that school, but at the ones I've attended, permission from the people in the photos isn't obtained before those photos are published in the yearbook. Most people don't even know that their picture is going to be in the yearbook until they actually see the yearbook. If those girls were not out to their parents, and their school worked like the ones I went to, being unexpectedly outed via the yearbook could be quite problematic. However, I think that Palmer should have contacted the two girls and asked them for their permission to include the photo; if they said yes, she should have run it. Requiring permission from the parents is a double standard (and not one born from pure concern for the girls, unlike asking their permission so that they aren't outed against their wishes), and counterproductive to the goal of keeping the parents from inadvertantly finding out about their daughters' orientations.

To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
-- Jennifer Diane Reitz

Posts: 266 | From: Portland, Oregon | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I don't think my school's yearbook has anyone kissing in it, mostly because we have a PDA rule. No kissing allowed in school. For same sex couples this is extended to no kissing allowed near school. It's a total double standard. I got "talked to" by the head of the upper school because my girlfriend and I kissed in the park and the soccer team coach saw us. Opposite sex couples kiss near school all the time and no one says anything. It's so messed up. At the time I didn't say anything about how unfair it was because I was pretty new to the school and it was embarrasing to be called on the PDA rule in my second month. Now I think I'd argue. But if we can't kiss at all, we're certainly not going to be put in the yearbook kissing.

Limes Are Sublime

Posts: 1101 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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bah... that's ridiculous. It should be entirely up to the people kissing whether or not the picture shows up in the yearbook. the kiss-in sounds like fun though... I wish there had been enough gay people at my high school to do something like that

when I was a senior, I won the superlative for "biggest gentleman" in both the male and female categories. since there was no male winner, the yearbook advisor freaked out and decided to scrap the category altogether. enough people complained that eventually I did get into the yearbook, but it was a very interesting little adventure into genderqueer-land for my high school.

Posts: 47 | From: Baltimore, MD | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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