Gay teenagers Joey and Thomas were told their quotes could “offend.”
Two gay students have spoken out after discovering that their inspirational coming out quotes were removed from their high school yearbooks.
Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz, who attend Kearny High School, Missouri, were shocked to find that quotes alluding to their sexuality had been censored by the school after being deemed ‘offensive’.
Joey had written underneath his senior yearbook picture: ‘Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing’.
Meanwhile, Thomas wrote: ‘If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet’.
However, the pair eventually discovered that the book marking their treasured high school years would feature a blank space under both their names after the school decided that the quotes could “offend” and pulled them with no prior warning.
“I went to find my quote in the yearbook but, nothing was there,” Joey told KCTV5 News.
“It was a blank picture under my name,” Thomas said.
“They need to know what they did is wrong. I want to be able to tell other people my story about what happened.”
In a written statement, Kearny High School Dave Schwarzenbach said: “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.”
Meanwhile, Joey and Thomas say they are making stickers featuring their censored quotes with their friends can add below their pictures.
“I’m proud to be from Kearney and I’m proud to be who I am. I’m just disappointed at what happened,” said Joey.