Education | News | Tennessee

Tennessee Principal Suspends Gay Teen for Wearing Make-Up: VIDEO

Landrum

Lexington High School Principal Steve Lindsey suspended gay student Kasey Landrum for wearing make-up, and now Landrum and his mother are speaking out, WBBJ reports:

"I'm very upset about it because he can't be who he wants to be," said Shelly Maness, Kasey Landrum's mother. "When I went to register him, about the make-up, he (Lindsey) reminded us Kasey was not to be wearing any," she adds.

The suspension form obtained by Maness cited her son was suspended on the basis he violated the school's dress code which states: "When a student is attired in a manner, which is likely to cause disruption or interference with normal operation of the school, the administration will take the appropriate action. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the teachers and administrators will prevail."

Landrum says the make-up has not been a distraction to anyone, and students and teachers have been supportive, but the situation at school is having a larger impact on him.

"I'm proud of myself for being as comfortable as I am, but sometimes I wish I was straight," he said. He said the emotional impact of not being able to express himself has led to depression which has caused him to miss days from school.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Well, if he's going to wear it like THAT...

    Posted by: Michael W. | Nov 4, 2011 6:05:59 PM


  2. Oh, child. I would put Elizabeth Taylor to shame with the make-up I wore in highschool...in the Gay Gay 1970s. But, Thank God, I was in Philadelphia Pennsylvania NOT Tennessee.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 4, 2011 6:06:29 PM


  3. Okay, I have to side with the principal on this one. I don't get the make-up thing and I'd be distracted by him too if I were in school. Kasey is obviously trying to draw attention to himself. Its a public school; not a circus!

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2011 6:12:25 PM


  4. Some students with goth makeup apparently had no problems.

    If he should be punished for something, it's horrible makeup skills

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 4, 2011 6:17:59 PM


  5. The make-up is fine. You wouldn't think gays would be so judgmental. I like eye make-up on guys. Just because you "don't get it" doesn't mean no one should express themselves the way that makes them feel good. It's just make-up. Yeesh.

    Posted by: Curt | Nov 4, 2011 6:18:07 PM


  6. Oh Jason, of course you do! Because you're a troll and a dooshbag. If they're going to suspend a male student for wearing some purple eye makeup then they damn well better suspend those male students running around with their a$$e$ hanging out, female students with cleavage all over the place, and athletic coaches with those tight polyester shorts (lawd have mercy) showin' they stuff. So don't even get me started on distractions! At that age, honey, the wind blows and a mind is distracted- mmm, mmmm! What a SHOCK that this principal is such a bigot, coming from the south. Oh and don't get all offended children - I was born and raised down there, I know of which I speak.

    Oh, and Jason? You're still a fool. Best to keep your mouth shut.

    Posted by: wtf | Nov 4, 2011 6:26:38 PM


  7. I guarantee that this student will look back someday at pictures of himself in this garish purple eye makeup and cringe.

    Posted by: Phineas Talbot | Nov 4, 2011 6:31:36 PM


  8. This wouldn't bug me if said policies were applied broadly and fairly. That makeup would, indeed, be a distraction. And quite honestly, why marginalize yourself even more? Especially in an conservative town.

    Posted by: John | Nov 4, 2011 6:37:41 PM


  9. Curt, I don't see any positivity from this. I try not to be a judgmental person, but I think its important to present the fact that so many of us want to be considered to be just like other people. There has to be a limitation in an academic environment. What's next, should he just come to school in his underwear if it makes him "feel good" too? Where do we draw the line and how does this benefit anyone but "Please Look at Me" Kasey?

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2011 6:43:18 PM


  10. FIERCE!!!!!!!!! I give him snaps for throwing on that shadow and going to school! DO YOUR THANG, BOO!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Nov 4, 2011 6:44:37 PM


  11. But if your eye turns the same shade of purple after you're punched in the face that's not disruptive.

    And what about vagina owners? Are they allowed to wear makeup? If so then this is sex discrimination. Boys should have the same opportunity to doll themselves up to woo the captain of the football team as anyone else.

    Unless the school can prove that females must be accommodated for something that doesn't apply to boys (like being allowed to possess tampons and Midol) then it's just arbitrary sex discrimination.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Nov 4, 2011 6:47:23 PM


  12. Why care what he looks like? High school is when youth experiment and learn how to dress, apply make-up, etc. Disruption is about his behavior. Is he attentive in class? polite and kind to others? How are his grades, does he apply himself to the school work at hand? Is he late to class? Many a girl that is just learning to apply make-up do horrible jobs but are they kicked out?

    Posted by: Nigel | Nov 4, 2011 6:48:10 PM


  13. Jason: king of ridicuolous analogies. Underwear? Really? You want to be taken seriously, right?
    If the girls can wear makeup, the boys should be able to. Apparently from other articles I've read about this, other BOYS are allowed to wear makeup. This one beieves he is being targeted specifically because he is gay.

    Posted by: John K. | Nov 4, 2011 7:02:10 PM


  14. Exactly Anastasia. If the rule is applied regardless of sex, this is fine. Otherwise, it's discrimination based on sex and the school district should be worried, 'cause they could have a very legitimate lawsuit on their hands.

    Posted by: at | Nov 4, 2011 7:08:01 PM


  15. Also: how can something be deemed "distracting" after school hours?

    Posted by: at | Nov 4, 2011 7:09:27 PM


  16. I knew I had to go directly to the comments after seeing that pic! MEOW!!

    Posted by: JasonMT | Nov 4, 2011 7:20:42 PM


  17. Not a problem. He should be who he is.
    Very unjust.
    Gender roles suck.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 4, 2011 7:48:50 PM


  18. "I think its important to present the fact that so many of us want to be considered to be just like other people."

    Jason, I'll never be like other people (at least a very large percentage of other people). I'm a guy who likes c*ck.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Nov 4, 2011 7:58:57 PM


  19. When looking at homophobic incidents in schools, there is almost always one of two reasons why the discrimination is taking place:

    1) Religion.

    2) Social conservatism.

    Coincidence? No. The reality is this is a gay teen in Tennessee, who was being denied to express himself as he pleases because the principle at the school probably sees it as flaunting his gayness. Let's call it what it is. Whether you think his makeup application is cute or not, whether you think that boys wearing makeup is weird, the bottom line is, that he should have had the freedom to wear his makeup and not be essentially bullied by his principal. More than that, he was clearly primarily punished because of his sexuality.

    I'm happy the school has implemented a new rule allowing all children to express themselves freely and the suspension was lifted, but I feel bad for Kasey. Being gay in Tennessee is hard and he shouldn't ever feel down about being gay, hopefully his family continues their strong support for him.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 4, 2011 8:04:08 PM


  20. JASON, Firstly: of all kids draw attention to themselves. Teens are at an age that they are trying forge their identities, and their place in the world. They should be given a lot of leeway to work that out, and it is an educators job to help them figure that out. They are not there just to teach math and chemistry. Anyone can do that.

    Secondly: Everything in a high school is a distraction to the learning process. That is actually part of the process, and not just for the kids. A good teacher, a truly good teacher, while monitoring, and guiding kids, should not think themselves better than the kids, and above learning something from the kids.

    Thirdly: Steve Lindsey said that another kid, a straight kid also wore makeup and nothing was said about that kid. It would seem the principal has issues with Steve's sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Ricco | Nov 4, 2011 8:04:54 PM


  21. If girls can wear make-up then boys can too. This has nothing to do with natural gender differences, it has to do with cultural prejudices and should be treated as such. Men in many cultures wear make-up. Time to grow up folks and accept life as it is.

    Posted by: Joey | Nov 4, 2011 8:05:43 PM


  22. Once again, Jason makes comments that are awful and exposes his internalized homophobia and misogyny. Really not worth a response, so I've said all I need to about him.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 4, 2011 8:12:44 PM


  23. @Francis... Just because you don't happen to agree with my opinion, does not make my comment awful. I'm a conservative gay man living in Alabama. If somebody can explain to me why a student would wear purple make-up for any other reason in school other than to attract attention to themselves, I'll listen. Now what he does outside school hours, is his business. That's all I meant to infer. Thanks.

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2011 8:32:23 PM


  24. Thought problem: Suppose a bible-thumper kid wears a shirt that says "Jesus is my savior" or wear a big honking Tammy Faye Bakeresque cross or some such thing. Nothing in her wardrobe is attacking anyone else. Should she be allowed to wear that?

    Then we ask the bible thumpers who support this suspension: if kids tease that girl and it disrupts class, should she be disallowed from wearing that? Should she be suspended?

    Posted by: MattS | Nov 4, 2011 8:43:44 PM


  25. @Jason, don't girls also wear make up to call attention to themselves? Many people dress and style there hair in ways that gets them attention. Why is this boy's attempt to do so so much worse than anyone else's?

    Posted by: MattS | Nov 4, 2011 8:47:59 PM


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