Two gay students at Kearney High School in Kearney, Missouri had quotes about being out of the closet removed from the school yearbook without warning, KCTV reports.
Wrote Joey Slivinski in his quote: “Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing.”
Thomas Swartz had a similar sentiment in his quote: “If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet.”
The school district said the quotes were potentially offensive in a note explaining the deletions, and apologized:
Dear KHS Families,
District administrators were made aware of concerns regarding the removal of senior quotes from the school yearbook. Each year, graduating seniors are provided an opportunity to pick a favorite quote to be placed in the yearbook. 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. All KSD staff understand the importance of inclusion and acceptance especially in an educational setting. We work diligently to help every student feel safe, supported, and included. District staff participate in ongoing training around issues of diversity and support student organizations that do the same. That being said, we acknowledge our mistake and will use it as a learning opportunity to improve in the future.
Sincerely, Dave Schwarzenbach KHS Principal
Dr. Bill Nicely KSD Superintendent of Schools
The two students plan to print stickers with their quotes on them and hand them out to students.