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07/06/2009

And here we thought 'Stay cool over the summer' was a lame yearbook cop-out

by Jeremy Hooper

Stories like this one seem to happen every yearbook season, but they never become less frustrating:

NEWARK (CN) - A graduate of East Side High School demands punitive damages for "severe mental and emotional trauma" because on his paid personal page in the school yearbook, the school blacked out a photo of him kissing his homosexual partner, but it did not black out photos of heterosexual students kissing.
Student Sues School Over Gay Kiss Photo [Courthouse News]
(h/t: Jaime McGonnigal)

Okay, let's have a refresher course in Yearbook Etiquette 101:

200907060956Bad hair and fashion choices: Should haunt students ten years past their yearbook's issuance.

Bad memories of that Calculus teacher who you hated to the tenth power: Should be a high school rite of passage.

Bad homophobic and heterosexist choices: Should have gone away since well before "The '80s are gonna be rockin!" was a popular yearbook signature!

It's elementary, really.

The student, Andre Jackson, is suing for punitive damages. His heterosexual peers, on the other hand, are free to enjoy their summer vacations on the beach instead of in the court room, free from the burden of having their natural internal instincts seen as a "controversy."

**UPDATE: This story is actually in relation to a 2007 incident. We're not sure if the matter is just now going to court, or if this Courthouse News report was reposted in error. Checking now -- sorry for the confusion.

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Your thoughts

This is absurd. If you're going to be a bigot, why don't you just hire a competent copy-editor who would have rejected the submission to the yearbook? There would have been little fan-fare for censorship in advance--I have no doubt that it happens thousands of times across this country. However, allowing the book to be printed and then "altered" before distribution draws TONS of attention to it, effectively blowing up in your face.

When will they learn? Probably never, thank god.

I'm shocked that over 200 years after the founding fathers penned the declaration of independence, that we are still so far away.

Posted by: Ezra Horne | Jul 6, 2009 1:28:33 PM

Whenever it happened, it's really sad. They certainly were keen enough to take the kid's money for that paid ad. It was a huge statement to all the other LGBT kids in that school, too, about how the school administrators find their affection and relationships obscene. I hope their minds are changed.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Jul 6, 2009 5:29:17 PM

Bigots whining about the gays forcing their lifestyle on those poor straight kids in 5...

Posted by: penguinsaur | Jul 6, 2009 6:34:09 PM

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