(WB) Two out Missouri high school students say their school removed their senior yearbook quotes because they referenced being gay.
Kearney High students Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz told KCTV5 when they checked to see their yearbook quotes under their senior portraits, they were nowhere to be found.
“It was a blank picture under my name,” Swartz says.
Slivinski’s submitted quote was, “Of course I dress well, I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing.”
While Swartz’ read, “If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet.”
“I’m comfortable in my own skin and with who I am,” Slivinski says. “It felt like the district took that from me.”
Slivinski and Swartz say they plan to make stickers with their quotes to put in their own yearbooks and in their friends’.
In a Facebook post, Slivinski further expressed his disappointment with the Kearney School District.
“Our schools are supposed to be a place that you can express being who you are. Today I realized Kearney isn’t ready for me being me,” Slivinski writes. “Thank you to the Kearney School District for making me feel like you’re ashamed of having a gay student.”
In a statement, the Kearney School District says the quote removal was “to err on the side of caution” and apologized for offending the students.
“In an effort to protect our students, quotes that could potentially offend another student or groups of students are not published. It is the school’s practice to err on the side of caution. Doing so, in this case, had the unintentional consequence of offending the very students the practice was designed to protect. We sincerely apologize to those students,” the statement reads.
— Mariah Cooper, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.