Two openly gay seniors at a Missouri high school were shocked to find that their yearbook quotes were removed for being “offensive”—even though they were nothing more than celebrations of their identity, The Washington Post reports.
“Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing,” said Joey Slivinski’s quote.
“If ‘Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet,” said Thomas Swartz’s quote.
But when both received their yearbooks, they were shocked to find that their quotes had been replaced with blank spaces under their names, without any warning.
The school was concerned that these quotes could “potentially offend” other students, KCTV-5 reported.
“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,” said a statement by Kearny School District.
“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 continued. “We acknowledge our mistake and will use it as a learning opportunity to improve in the future.”
[Photo: Human Rights Campaign]