Michigan High School Removes Pro-Equality Poster

Administrators at Marshall High School, a school I know quite well, removed a poster from a bulletin board that was put up by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club for the Transgender Day of Visibility because some parents complained about it. Their defense of their actions is downright Orwellian.

On Monday night, about 30 students stood in solidarity with the transgender community. They spray-painted the school rock after a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance group was told to take down a bulletin board that had been created to spread awareness of Transgender Day of Visibility today. The students said they were promised the board until today but suspected the board was removed because of parent complaints and threats to remove their children from school for the day…

Davis said parents met and expressed concern about the board with administrators Monday afternoon, but that he was told by an administrator the board was taken down Monday morning before the parent meeting.

“The parents expressed concern about our practice of allowing groups with alternative lifestyles to openly display posters in the school,” Davis said in an email to the Enquirer on Monday night. “The administration underscored student rights to freedom of speech and equal access. The meeting was a reaction to our practice, and not the reason for changing the bulletin board.”

Right. They “underscored student rights to freedom of speech and equal access” by removing the poster. Mr. Orwell, call your office.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    This is not a Free Speech issue. Those alternative lifestyle-expousing students are free to openly display posters at the school. The administration even set up a board just for them, in the closet.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    You are free to say what you are allowed to say.

  • alanb

    It was a crisis with the parents expressing concern, so the Marshall High School administrators had no choice but to impose Marshall law.

  • grumpyoldfart

    They spray-painted the school rock…

    That would have to be the strangest thing I’ve read this year.

    ( The more I think about it the sillier it gets – the school rock !!! )

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    Okay, then what was the reason for taking the bulletin board/poster/whatever down early?

  • Larry

    The amazing power of ink on paper rears its ugly head again. It has the power to turn parents of some high school students and the school’s administration to bowls of jello, trembling in fear of the awesomeness.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    We have both kinds of free speech: separate AND equal!

  • Chiroptera

    “The parents expressed concern about our practice of allowing groups with alternative lifestyles to openly display posters in the school,” Davis said in an email to the Enquirer on Monday night.

    Huh, that’s kinda funny, because I have a concern about how some parents are assholes.

  • scienceavenger

    “The [majority] parents expressed concern about our practice of allowing groups with alternative [minority] lifestyles to openly display posters in the school,”

    In the words of the great Frank Burns, “Individuality is fine, as long as well all do it together.”

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    Just what is it the Pearl Clutchers™ are so afraid of?

    Reminds me of grade-school cooties.

  • anbheal

    This comment thread wins the Internets for the day. Nice work, folks.

  • lofgren

    So Ednappearsnto completely and totally misunderstood this article. In fact the spray painting of the rock was in response to Facebook postings by parents that were critical of the poster. The poster was taken down before the meeting with the parents even took place, because it was scheduled to be taken down. The group had reserved the bulletin board for two weeks and their two weeks ended the Friday before. At the meeting, the school administration defended the students and reiterated that the club was free to reserve the bulletin board space again next year just as they had in previous years.

    Unless Ed has some new information to add, I think he owes the school a big fat apology. They handled the situation exactly right, by standing up for their students and for equality.

  • Al Dente

    lofgren @12

    The group had reserved the bulletin board for two weeks and their two weeks ended the Friday before.

    That’s not what the article Ed linked to says. It says the poster was to remain until Monday. Do you want to apologize for your “disinformation”?

  • lofgren

    From the article:

    Superintendent Randy Davis said school groups are allotted up to two weeks of bulletin board use at a time and the Gay-Straight Alliance’s two weeks ended Friday.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ Kamaka

    They’re afraid for their children’s souls (or rather, their ability to have complete control over their children.) At its core, their belief is that humans are by nature sinful and will easily succumb to any temptation in their path. The solution is to stuff their children’s heads with the One True Way so that temptation can’t sneak in. Seeing that people can live without the OTW means that their children will be tempted away and fall into sin, damning themselves forever.

    In a way, they’re right. Their OTW is so joyless, unloving and downright cruel that just about anything else sounds better. Exposure to new ideas leads to questioning of the OTW and they can’t handle that.

  • lofgren

    The students claim that they were promised the bulletin board until Wednesday, or at least I assume that is what the article means by “today” given that it was posted one day ago. However they haven’t actually provided any evidence of that, they only “suspect” it was taken don because of the meeting, and the students who were interviewed primarily cited the Facebook comments as their motivation for repainting the rock. The superintendant has said nothing but positive things about the GSA, LGBT equality, and the students who repainted the rock. He has reiterated his support for them both at the meeting and in emails. I see no reason to doubt his account of why the poster was taken down. It would be interesting if the GSA could produce some evidence that they were given less than the allotted two weeks but as of now there is no reason to believe that this was anything other than normal school policy.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ ArtK

    Yeah, I get what you’re saying. Certainly, they tried to beat the sinner out of me. Downright cruel? Yes.

    What a shitty way to live, being mean to kids over Made-Up-Shit™.