Two gay high schoolers had their yearbook quotes removed after their Missouri school deemed them offensive, local news reported.
The Kearney High School (KHS) graduates Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz said they were surprised when they couldn’t find their quotes anywhere in the 2017 yearbook after it came out. “I went to find my quote in the yearbook but, nothing was there,” Slivinski told KCTV5 Monday.
“It was a blank picture under my name,” Swartz said..
“Mine was, ‘Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing’,” Slivinski’s told KCTV5 about his quote.
“If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet,” Swartz’s said his quote read.
“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,” the Dave Schwarzenbach KHS Principal told KCTV5 in a statement. “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,” the statement went on.
Swartz rejected the principal’s explanation. “They need to know what they do is wrong,” Swartz said. He added that he looks forward to sharing his story.
“I’m comfortable in my own skin and with who I am,” Slivinksi said.
“Our schools are supposed to be a place that you can express being who you are. Today I realized Kearney isn’t ready for me being me,” he wrote on Facebook, according to The Washington Post.
Swartz and Slivinski said they plan to make stickers of the quotes so that they can paste them in the yearbook regardless of the school’s wishes.
“I’m proud to be from Kearney and I’m proud to be who I am,” Slivinski told KCTV5.
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