High School seniors Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz were told that their quotes, which referenced coming out, could not be included in the yearbook as they may
“offend another student or groups of students”.
They both just graduated from Kearny High School, close to Kansas City, Missouri and they were asked to give a quote to be included in the yearbook. Slivinski’s read:
“Of course I dress well, I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing.”
“If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one deserves to live in the closet”
But they were shocked to open up the yearbook and find that those quotes they had chosen had not been included. Slivinski explained,
“I went to find my quote in the yearbook but nothing was there.”
“It was a blank picture under my name.”
They complained to the school and the administration admitted their mistake in unintentionally offending the students they had hoped to protect with the policy,
“In an effort to protect our students, quotes that could potentially offend another student or groups of students are not published.
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.”
Both Slavinski and Swartz said that they were comfortable with their sexuality and felt mortified that their identity had essentially been stripped with the removal of the quotes. Slivinski said,
“I’m proud to be from Kearney and I’m proud to be who I am. I’m just disappointed at what happened.”
“They need to know what they did is wrong. I want to be able to tell other people my story about what happened.”
(Photos, HRC Kansas City; via Pink News)