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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Guest Commentary

School should not have suspended gay student for kissing another boy


A kiss is just a kiss | Callie Parrish/The Daily Cougar

A kiss is just a kiss | Callie Parrish/The Daily Cougar

When teens reach high school, they can expect to go through several rites of passage such as a first kiss, a first date and a first boyfriend or girlfriend. However, one Corpus Christi school turned a star-crossed couple’s kiss into a nightmare.

A 17-year-old male cheerleader at Alice High School in Corpus Christi was caught kissing another boy. However, it wasn’t a passing teacher or school official who caught him; he was caught when school employees reviewed the school’s security cameras.

A highschooler’s sexual orientation shouldn’t factor into a school’s disciplinary actions. Had this been a boy stealing a kiss from a girl, would the school have reacted this strongly? I think we all know the answer to that. They might have made calls to their parents and given them detention, but that would have been it.”

As soon as the school saw the footage, they did what can only be described as sexist and homophobic: they suspended the highschooler and kicked him off the cheerleading squad.

How many heterosexual students caught kissing at school receive disciplinary action? The answer is none; at most, they might get a scolding. To suspend a student for displaying affection to their other half, in a way that isn’t lewd or exhibitionist, is wrong.

A highschooler’s sexual orientation shouldn’t factor into his or her school’s disciplinary actions. Had this been a boy stealing a kiss from a girl, would the school have reacted this strongly? I think we all know the answer to that. They might have made calls to their parents and given them detention, but that would have been it. To suspend a student for something as innocent as a kiss is ridiculous, and it is only an issue because he is gay.

This is made more evident by the fact that a member of the boy’s squad became pregnant and has yet to face any disciplinary action.

“If (they) were suspending everyone for that, half the school would be suspended,” the highschooler said in an article in TODAY News. “They should be paying more attention to drugs and alcohol use than kicking a person off a team for kissing.”

He wasn’t being lewd or committing any crimes. This young man’s hard work to join the varsity cheerleading team is now wasted.

He doesn’t have much to look forward to when he graduates high school, because the state of Texas doesn’t have any laws protecting the LGBT community from discrimination. Furthermore, the platform of the Texas GOP, which now controls the state Legislature, is to criminalise sodomy.

Additionally, they “are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, and homosexual partners.”

“The issue here is whatever is in the school’s code of conduct, and whether it’s being enforced equally,” said Chuck Smith, deputy executive director of Equality Texas, to msnbc.com.

Unfortunately, the problem of LGBT discrimination in schools extends to other states. Some students in Connecticut recently staged a walkout during their school’s production of “Zanna Don’t!” a play in which being gay is the norm, and heterosexuals are the outcasts.

They were protesting a gay kiss that occurs during the play. In an article in the Huffington Post, Dave Chambers, principal of the nursing academy at Hartford Public High School said, “Even though it’s kind of chaotic, kind of wild and crazy, I see it as very successful. Our kids never deal with this, they keep it inside, and that’s that nervous energy. That’s why they walked out.”

It is that nervous energy and avoidance that creates an environment in which someone can be suspended for a kiss. And it is that same nervous energy that makes going to school akin to walking a gauntlet for many gay students. Some of them end up taking their lives because of the intolerance this nervous energy creates.

In the end, a kiss is just a kiss, and the school needs to quit being so bashful about it.

Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at [email protected]


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