The students wanted to send a inspirational message about coming out
Two messages about coming out of the closet have not been left out of a Missouri school yearbook.
Graduates of Kearney High Joey Slivinski and Thomas Swartz made the discovery when they got their year books. Finding their final comments had been removed.
Their final comments had been removed and the space under their pictures was instead, left empty.
Speaking to local Kansas news KCTV5, they said:
‘I went to find my quote in the yearbook but, nothing was there.
‘It was a blank picture under my name.’
It’s a tradition that graduating seniors have the opportunity to pick a quote to go with their picture in the yearbook.
Both Swartz and Slivinski are openly gay and wanted to write something inspirational.
Slivinski’s comical quote was: ‘Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing.’
Swartz’s quote also had a message about coming out:
‘If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should have to live in the closet.’
Coming out messages deemed offensive
The district said these were offensive. In a statement to KCTV5 they 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.
They went on to apologize to the students:
‘we acknowledge our mistake and will use it as a learning opportunity to improve in the future.’
The statement came from both the high school’s Principal Dave Schwarzenbach and the district’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bill Nicely.
But this wasn’t enough for the students. They want the district to know that what they did was wrong.
They now plan to make stickers to insert their quotes into their friend’s yearbooks.
Slivinski told KCTV:
‘I’m proud to be from Kearney and I’m proud to be who I am,
‘I’m just disappointed at what happened.’