Thursday, January 05, 2006

Chicago area school board continues censorship of gay student's column

My blog has moved!!! Please visit my new blog for all the newest news, events, opinions and more!!!
You will be automatically re-directed in three seconds. Click the link to go to the new blog now. Use the search function on the new blog to find any story you are looking for on here.

According to an article published by, a suburban Chicago school board is standing by its decision to ban an article written on LGBT issues by a gay high school student. The student, Stephen Delaney, aged 17 years, had written the column and submitted to his school's student newspaper. The column dealt with issues of coming out; Delaney hoped that his column would help other gay teens at his school. School officials, however, say that it will not reconsider its decision to keep the column from hitting the press. According to the article:
"At some point in everyone’s lifetime, they find that they are somewhere a minority," Delaney wrote. "While diversity is said to be celebrated in America, today’s teens know that real life can be a different story." The article went on to say, "my main objective of this article is to urge other homosexuals to come out. Even if it is just to one friend, letting out that huge secret is such a relief." Principal Dawn Snyder rejected the article. A revised version also was turned down. Snyder's decision divided the school and some parents and the issue went to the school board which upheld her ruling. "Our decision is based upon the district's desire to maintain a position of neutrality in matters of political controversy, our belief that the subject matter is not appropriate for publication in the school newspaper and out of concern for your safety," Snyder said in a letter to Delaney. The editor of the student newspaper calls the decision nothing less than censorship. Sara Schmidt said that she was "utterly disgusted by the decision of (the) administration." "I cannot admire a school that teaches 2,500 students to pursue knowledge, promising them an unabridged flow of learning, but lacks the courage to allow one student to speak his mind," Schmidt said.
======= When I was in high school, I don't think we ever had a problem between administrators and the student paper when it came to LGBT-themed or oriented articles or columns. I wrote plenty of letters to the editors concerning LGBT issues, discrimination and prejudice. All I can remember is having one of my letters cut for length. I think I've got about the same mindset as the student editor, Sara Schmidt. I like her statement: "I cannot admire a school that teaches 2,500 students to pursue knowledge, promising them an unabridged flow of learning, but lacks the courage to allow one student to speak his mind." School officials claim they are trying to stay neutral on controversial political issues. How and when did a column... an opinion column at that... come to be censored. Opinion columns are for expressing opinions; the whole purpose of an opinion column is to let one person speak his or her mind. Most people would understand Stephen Delaney's column to be just what is was, his own opinion. I don't understand the school's fears of not "staying neutral"; most people wouldn't have even seen Delaney's opinions as the school's opinions or stances on an issue. Most people are smart enough to recognize an opinion peice from a news piece. Oh well... all is not lost, for Stephen Delaney's words are still heard and felt by gay teens across the nation. Click here to read a past post on this issue and Delaney's full column. Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,