Posted by: Catherine Lugg | November 16, 2010

Lesbians forced out of their OK public high school

This is an evolving story from Oklahoma. Supposedly, Melissa McKenzie was kicked out of her high school in Del City, and her girl friend Kelsey Hicks dropped out after their principal found out they were living together.

According to the Advocate:

“The principal will say ‘Well, you’re gay. You’re not going to do anything with your life. You might as well just drop out now,'” Hicks said. “It’s stuff to put you down that makes you want to drop out.”

This story raises a lot of questions. Does the principal have the right to kick out queer kids in OK simply because they are queer? Probably, since queer identity isn’t protected under state or federal law and OK has yet to ditch their unconstitutional bans on same-sex consensual sodomy. Consequently, the principal may see these two kids as “statutory criminals.” (i.e., their existence is defined as criminal–see Lugg, 2006). Furthermore, since the principal offered to reinstate McKenzie, but only if she stopped living with Hicks and returned to her parents’ household, I would suspect he sees McKenzie and Hicks as intrinsically immoral and is acting on that religious belief.

The school board involved issued the most mealy-mouthed non-discrimination statement that I’ve seen in a long time. Notice that sexual orientation and gender identity are not addressed.

“It is the policy of the Mid-Del Public School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs, services, and activities,” said a statement from district officials. “The safety of our students is always the priority of Mid-Del Schools.”

If you really want to make yourself crazy, who’s betting that the kids are being discriminated against under the rubric of “safety?” (That it’s not safe for non-queer students to be around queer students?).

Stay tuned for developments….

HT: Kris Wells


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