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Arkansas High School Sneakily BANS Openly Gay Student's Coming Out Experience From Yearbook!

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taylor ellis arkansas high school

This school tried to be sneaky in order to avoid a firestorm, but it didn't quite work out that way.

Luckily, their plan totally blew up in their face — because now the world is hearing ALL about it!

An Arkansas high school student named Taylor Ellis wrote a beautiful letter for his yearbook about how touched he was that his community had accepted him when he came out as openly gay, but Sheridan High School decided to scrap his story along with the six other profiles featured in the yearbook.

The school's tactics aren't fooling anyone, though, especially the yearbook's assistant editor!

Here's what Hannah Bruner said:

"It's a big thing in Sheridan to be gay, that's something that doesn't get told a lot. We have a good idea why they're not going into the yearbook. They don't want to just throw out the gay kid's interview."

As for Taylor, he for one doesn't understand why the school made the decision that they did. He said:

"I'm already openly gay, so there's no reason that it should affect how people see me…It’s not something I’m ashamed of. In fact, I’m proud of who I am. That’s why I can’t understand why my school was trying to force me back into the closet."

Sheridan Superintendent Brenda Haynes has released a statement on behalf of the school. The statement said:

"We must make decisions that lead in the proper direction for all of our students and for our community. We must not make decisions based on demands by any special interest group. The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook. We have reviewed state law, court cases, and our own policies. It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the District have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so."

Well, many folks won't take this lying down including the Human Rights Coalition and Taylor's super supportive mom Lynn Tiley (photo with Tayler above). They've gathered over 35,000 signatures demanding Taylor's story be put back in the yearbook, and have delivered them to the school.

Here's what the HRC President Chad Griffin wrote:

“This act of discriminatory censorship sends a dangerous message to all LGBT students in Sheridan, across Arkansas, and the nation – that they are second-class citizens and their lives are not equally valid. Tens of thousands of fair-minded Americans are speaking out against this discrimination.”

No matter what happens, Taylor, who is a junior at the high school, knows that he won't have to put up with such small mindedness for very longer. He said:

"They're history, when I'm done with Sheridan, I'm done with Sheridan; I have one more year and after that I'll thank God that I'm not there anymore."

Hopefully he'll be able to leave high school with some positive memories — especially if his yearbook entry gets reinstated! You know, instead of graduating with this bad taste in his mouth.

No way should this kind of discrimination still be happening!

Especially in a public high school in 2014!!

[Image via AP Images.]

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11 comments to “Arkansas High School Sneakily BANS Openly Gay Student's Coming Out Experience From Yearbook!”

  1. Just Sayin' says – reply to this


    1

    I am a feminist as well as an equal-rights activist. That being said, objectively reading this article, the school scraped 6 OTHER people's profiles that were not gay: "The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook." So….why are they being discriminatory? Because "Hannah Bruner" thought so? Let's pick our battles, people. Fighting weak battles only makes us look weak.



  2. 2

    No, the administrator just about admitted it. He didn't say, "we ran out of room in the yearbook", he said " It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the District have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so.". I take that to mean that being gay isn't part of the mission of the school. And the assistant YB editor was right, they couldn't just throw out the gay kid's, so they threw out ALL of them. It was a way around being blatantly discriminatory, they tried to create something they could hide behind.
    The admin's comments upset me the most. They "We have reviewed state law, court cases, and our own policies.", because they knew they were wrong, but needed to make sure they wouldn't get into legal trouble for it.



  3. 3

    I think that bad taste in his mouth is his own shit that's on his boyfriends dick.



  4. 4

    This is just so aggravating. This Hannah wrote up the profile about this kid and in it the kid shares that he has clinical depression and has been on medication, and shares his gay coming out story. So the school publishes his profile in the yearbook.

    Next year, as a senior, he gets bullied like crazy, he is mentally not well /strong/delicate (clinical depression), and he takes his life. Then the story is why did the powers to be allow a CLINICALLY DEPRESSED CHILD to share such intimate details in last year's yearbook that led to bullying and him taking his life.

  5. Diane says – reply to this


    5

    As usual perez you are an angry gay person.

  6. tara says – reply to this


    6

    so F***ing TRUE
    dammed if you do. dammed if you don't

  7. hahaha says – reply to this


    7

    definitely shit from his boyfriends dick, tell him grow up and get a job instead of trying to sue someone so he can sit home with his homo bf and suck dick

  8. Teresa Andrews says – reply to this


    8

    Re: Mad Dog – If you have nothing substantive to contribute, please don't post anything.



  9. 9

    Re: hahaha – Where does it say anyone is trying to sue anyone? Typical jackass comment from a homophobe dickhead. Do humanity a favor and checkout early..



  10. 10

    Re: IzzyLizzy
    Ever wonder why this boy is clinically depressed? Maybe it's because he's ridiculed. and made to feel ashamed of who he is.

  11. hmmm says – reply to this


    11

    His letter is about HIM. Coming out has nothing to do with graduating high school. A yearbook is about every body not just one person and their personal experience. Publish it in a newspaper or something and now that someone cut this story it's this HUGE deal. Geez get over yourselves!! Stop pushing your beliefs on others when everyone is entitled to their own…