Four Students Leave Colorado High School Yearbook Staff After Advisor Orders Removal of Gay Couple Photo


A yearbook advisor ordered the removal of a gay couple holding hands from Palmer High School's yearbook, KRDO reports, prompting two students to quit and two to be removed from staff at the Colorado Springs school:

"She told me to in these exact words, you either cut the gay couple or I cut the page." said former Palmer High School Yearbook Staff Member Rudolpho "Coco" Tribulio.

Tribulio and Anna Carmicheal say their yearbook advisor told them that a lesbian couple holding hands could not be on a page they were creating about high school relationships.A School District 11 spokesperson says there is another reason.

"When the photos came back from that page there was too much PDA and that is against Palmer policy," said District 11 Public Information Officer Devra Ashby.If you look at pictures from last year's yearbook,however, you can see several forms of public displays of affection.

The yearbook advisor then cut the "relationship" page that the couple's photo had appeared on and replaced it with a "diversity" page:

But Carmichael says the yearbook advisor came up with a new restriction. "No names, only the labels. So for a picture of a muslim, she wanted to label them as a muslim," said former Palmer High School yearbook editor Anna Carmichael.

Video report at KRDO.


  1. Blake says

    The teacher, or whoever she is, in that interview comes off as a total unhinged lunatic.

  2. Continuum says

    Another day, another act of bigotry, and yet another email.

    I’ve just emailed the school principals, superintendent, and board members as well as Ashby.

    I pointed out that their hypocrisy was truly sad. I noted that their own personal religious bigotry does not belong in a public school.

    Here is the email for the superintendent, principal, and Ms. Ashby.

    Here is the school’s website:, and the school board’s,,,,,

  3. George Bakan says

    … so ..”Hey you Muslim” … and … “What is Happening Christian” – this is stupid. The kids get it, the teacher does not. Thanks be, the kids are the future …

  4. says

    “And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations; they’re quite aware of what they’re going through”

  5. tophu628 says

    :sigh: If this happened in NYC (where I student taught) or Massachusetts, California, DC, etc., this teacher would be put on leave and summarily fired.

    I agree with George Bakan; these children are the future, and their actions give me hope!

  6. LizBradbury says

    Colorado has a state-wide anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation. These students should have stuck to their guns and filed a complaint about this school decision that was clearly based on discrimination. The state Human Relations Commission could help them.

  7. says

    Speaking from personal experience, unlawful discrimination isn’t always addressed by the agencies charged with the responsibility to do so. For example, when I was in Grad school, the Editor of the University newspaper announced in the office before the other staff that while I was more qualified for a particular position, she decided to give it to a White student because she felt I was “too Indian.” When I filed a complaint with EEOC, I was told by a representative, while this was clearly discrimination, they were understaffed and had such a backlog of complaints they would never get around to it for years, and by that time all parties involved would no longer be associated with the University. From my current perspective, I now wonder if I would have gotten a different response if I had gone directly to the University HR department, or as the high school students apparently did–to the media. I share this only because I suspect a number of young people believe they have certain protections and discover when they seek them out, they may not find any support, and end up withdrawing. Like other posters, I’m encouraged by better informed young people who confront bigotry–even if the confrontation doesn’t always change the situation–it’s at least excellent practice. I was also struck by the founder of the California Project 10 that supported LGBT youth long before a lot of other such programs were created. In a speech she said, “Your anger will give you strength.”

  8. Hollywood, CA says

    YAY for the students and BOO hiss for the homophobic teachers and faculty. It’s amazing all the “new rules” that pop up when anything GAY comes along. Oh, now PDA is unacceptable, even though last year it wasn’t? Such BS! Keep up the good fight, kids!

  9. Paul R says

    Like Peter said. My father wanted me to go to college in Colorado Springs, and once I did some research my response was HELL NO.

  10. SFshawn says

    Once again it’s time for the ignorant,bigoted,moralizing,hypocritical religious ADULTS to get out of the way and allow for the intelligent,open-minded,ethical,loving and accepting kids/young adults to lead and to inspire us to a greater world even while Russia,the Middle East,Africa and some southern states in the USA go the opposite direction into legalizing hatred,bigotry and sanctioned DEATH!!!! Those religious dictators/legislators and their countries will ALWAYS be poor,corrupt and bankrupt financially and ethically not because they don’t have enough money or resources but because they continually live in fear, hatred and sadly envy of their fellow human beings. One can hope that they will learn from their past mistakes but they never do…
    Is it a coincidence that most(if not all) of these ‘countries’ are just shitholes pretending to be countries?

  11. Rob says

    Colorado Springs is the land of the cave people who belong to “Focus on the Family”.

  12. Mike C. says

    AMAZING How the high school students appear more intelligent, informed and well spoken than the teacher!!

  13. Matt says

    Colorado Springs native that moved far away…but this is interesting…

    Yes, Colorado Springs is rampant with this type of behavior from school officials, however Palmer is downtown and typically considered the most liberal of the area high schools.

  14. Brian says

    I grew up in Colorado Springs and attended Harrison High School. I was the editor of my yearbook, and the advisor had no problem with showcasing gays as normal human beings. That was ten years.

    This does surprise me, though; Palmer is well known in the city for being one of the more progressive schools in the city. I would have assumed this would happen in District 20, but not at Palmer.

  15. shawn says

    I attended Palmer High school throughout the latter part of the 90’s- It was nothing like this. Gay students were featured in the yearbook, and were accepted for the most part without prejudice(there is always a few idiots no matter where you go). But as bad as Colorado Springs’ reputation is, it’s not like have to hang out with Dr. Dobson and his followers every day if you live here.
    There are awesome tolerant people that live here, they just don’t get any press.