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  1. #1
    Buttercup's Avatar
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    Gay pair's photo blacked out of yearbook

    Gay pair's photo blacked out of yearbook
    by Kasi Addison
    Friday June 22, 2007, 9:23 PM


    This photograph of an East Side High School student Andre Jackson kissing his boyfriend David Escobales was blacked out of every copy of the school's yearbook by Newark school officials who decided it was inappropriate.



    A photograph of an East Side High School student kissing his boyfriend was blacked out of every copy of the school's yearbook by Newark school officials who decided it was inappropriate.

    Andre Jackson said he never thought he would offend anyone when he bought a page in the yearbook and filled it with several photographs, including one of him kissing his boyfriend.

    But Newark Superintendent of Schools Marion Bolden called the photograph "illicit" and ordered it blacked out of the $85 yearbook before it was distributed to students at a banquet for graduating seniors Thursday.

    "It looked provocative," she said. "If it was either heterosexual or gay, it should have been blacked out. It's how they posed for the picture."

    Russell Garris, the assistant superintendent who oversees the city's high schools, brought the photograph to Bolden's attention Thursday afternoon. He was concerned the picture would be controversial and upsetting to parents, Bolden said.

    There are several photos of heterosexual couples kissing in the yearbook, but the superintendent said she didn't review the entire yearbook and was presented only with Jackson's page.

    Ripping the page out entirely was considered but, Bolden said, it was decided blacking it out with a marker would lessen the damage to the yearbooks.

    Jackson said he showed up at the banquet, excited to collect his yearbook. He'd paid an additional $150 for the special tribute page filled with shots of boyfriend David Escobales, 19, of Allentown, Pa., and others. Jackson learned what happened to his page moments before the books were distributed.

    While the students waited, staff members in another room blacked out the 4½-by-5-inch picture from approximately 230 books.

    "I don't understand," said Jackson, 18. "There is no rule about no gay pictures, no guys kissing. Guys and girls kissing made it in."

    East Side's is like most high school yearbooks. About 80 pages in the roughly 100-page tome is dedicated to class photos, formal shots of seniors, candids and spreads dedicated to a variety of sports teams and academic clubs.

    The back of the book is a collection of tributes where students designed pages filled with pictures depicting them with their families, girlfriends and boyfriends, and friends.

    Rules for publication of the pages prohibited shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos, said Benilde Barroqueiro, an East Side senior graduating with Jackson.

    "You know, it couldn't be too provocative. No making out, no tongue," she said.

    Students were surprised when they opened their books and found Jackson's picture had been covered with marker, Barroqueiro said.

    "He purchased the page and fell under the rules," she said. "If they want to kiss, that's their page. If you don't like it, don't look at it."

    nj.com




  2. #2
    BEB
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    Good thing they didn't have any lighter fluid handy...

    Just hope the reprint fees come out of the self appointed moralists' pockets rather than the school budget.

  3. #3
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Anyone taking bets on whether he put the photo in just to get a response from the school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post





    Oh Buttercup, you just had to go and post that. You know how Brad and Marc's pants get all tight when you put stuff like that up!

    Seriously though, whatever their motives were, it does not appear that the picture itself violates any rules, i.e there's no tongue. If there are straight couples who have similar pictures published, I smell lawsuit.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  5. #5
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    Whens the ACLU gonna jump in. I think I can hear them comming down the hall now!
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

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    Wait a second... this is a Goddamned school yearbook people, not a hookup magazine. When I look back through the pages of my high school yearbook, (which I only paid $10.00 for, not $85.00), I let my mind run through my own memories of the girls I knew, (biblically and otherwise), but I don't want to see a closeup of two guys in a liplock on the pages of it and I bet most other folks don't either.

    I apologize to all of the wonderful and happy homos in the world, but keep your private business private. If you want to jackhammer each other's backsides, do it at home, along with any foreplay you want to take part in, but don't force me or anyone else who doesn't like it to honor and memorialize your public displays of affection for your "partners".

    "Oh, how wonderful... Bart and Billy... I wonder if they ever got married and had a bunch of kids..."

    Forget it. Cheerist... Get real, people. Perhaps the school should have disallowed any public displays of affection in the book as well, but who gives a sheet. The ACLU can kiss my shiny white ass.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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  7. #7
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    CB, this might be the only time I disagree. They paid their money like everyone else. Do I think that the picture smacks as appropriate? Maybe not. DId the yearbook committee think it was okay to print? Apparently so. I don't know, but that smells of bullshit to me that the picture didn't really offend anyone (including the faculty advisor, which I am almost POSITIVE has to review the book before it gets published) until it got to the admin office. Sorry if the Superintendent didn't like it, but I don't care who the fuck he is. No one should have the power to tell the faculty to take all yearbooks into a back room, yearbooks that have been bought and paid for and aren't even really THEIR (the school's) property anymore, and color over a picture with a goddamn sharpie. That's just too far, IMO. Don't print the picture? Fine with me. Print it, then intentionally damage the yearbooks in order to censor it? Too far. If I were the queer guys, I'd want my money back. If I were a student who bought a yearbook, I'd be fucking pissed that some goddamn faculty member marked up my property, because they decide to take it upon themselves to decide if a picture (that wasn't violating any rules) would offend me or not.

    I will stipulate that the school should have the ability to take action on this matter. The appropriate action would have been to not give the yearbooks out, and to have them printed again without the picture in question, at no costs to the student. Yeah, it would be expensive, but too bad, they should edit their book before putting it to print.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  8. #8
    countybear's Avatar
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    I didn't say that I LIKED the way that they handled it (blotting out the picture with a marker). I do feel like it should have been handled prior to getting to that point.

    We'll agree that there was a better way of handling this.

    I don't think it should have been in the yearbook to begin with.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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    That from the nunnery
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    To war and arms I fly.
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    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

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    If there are any pictures of heterosexuals kissing in the book they should be removed as well. Keep it simple, keep it fair. Then I would agree, but otherwise leave it. Don't want to look at it turn the page.

  10. #10
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    Yep, what 121Traffic said. And what Countybear said next.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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  11. #11
    Rhino's Avatar
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    CB,

    If it was a boy and a girl in the picture kissing like that, would you have the same reaction?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  12. #12
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    CB,

    If it was a boy and a girl in the picture kissing like that, would you have the same reaction?

    Probably not but then that might still offend those who are devoutly religious although I guess less so.

    I don't find it offensive ( I am very hard to offend which I think is detrimental at times as I miss the opportunity to sue people, but I digress) but I can see why others might find it highly offensive.

  13. #13
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I would have probably rejected the photo before it went to the printers, but I see no reason to deface the yearbooks after the fact - By doing that, the photo gets a lot more press than it deserves.

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  14. #14
    Rhino's Avatar
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    If someone is offended by me- is that my problem, or theirs?

    You tell a man he is something less than a man and say it often enough, and even he will believe it. The price he pays is easy to see. The price you pay is hidden, but it is just as deep.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    If someone is offended by me- is that my problem, or theirs?

    You tell a man he is something less than a man and say it often enough, and even he will believe it. The price he pays is easy to see. The price you pay is hidden, but it is just as deep.
    depends....on what you do to offend them. If you are excercising free speech, and I just don't like what you say, then within reason its my problem. If it is actions you are taking which violate accepted laws or customs and I am offended, then it is your problem. Example----if you stand on a street corner and say "I think the world is going to end and its the fault of capitalization and the greedy US"...I am offended because I disagree with the basis for your position. However, you have every right to be wrong, and it is simply my problem for listening to you and letting you get under my skin. However, if you come to my house and stand behind my gas guzzeling made in the USA SUV and shout the same things, IMO it is not your problem, as you have entered into my personal zone, and no longer are in the field of public area and publc debate.
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


  16. #16
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    But back to the topic at hand, I think the school was negligent in not addressing the photo before the yearbooks were published. I think it should have been handled differently. I wonder if the people who got so upset over it would have the same reaction to 2 female students instead of 2 males, and males of ethnicity as well.
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    I didn't say that I LIKED the way that they handled it (blotting out the picture with a marker). I do feel like it should have been handled prior to getting to that point.

    We'll agree that there was a better way of handling this.

    I don't think it should have been in the yearbook to begin with.
    Fair enough. I am definitely not arguing that the picture is appropriate for a yearbook. But to punish the students for an editing mistake on the faculty's part is hardly what I would call fair.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  18. #18
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    That was messed up, I also see a lawsuit coming up.
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    countybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    CB,

    If it was a boy and a girl in the picture kissing like that, would you have the same reaction?
    There you go... I knew that was coming... OMIGOD!! COUNTYBEAR'S A HOMOPHOBE!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! CALL THE HATEPOLICE!!

    I'm not what anyone would possibly call "devoutly religious". I am not flaming anti-gay. I do, however believe in a simple principal: decency.

    The first line of the post was simple, but spoke volumes to those who read it without suspicion or "agenda"...

    Wait a second... this is a Goddamned school yearbook people, not a hookup magazine.
    I'd read that as saying something to the effect of: The purpose of a high school yearbook is to commemorate a wonderful time in the lives of young people. It is not a means by which to make an open statement having any sexual, political, or deviant nature. Have we so immersed our kids in sexuality, that simple pleasures like football, band, drama, quiz bowl, tennis, golf, chess, or friggin' basketweaving for that matter, has given way to memorializing public statements of romantic passion?

    Your answer, Rhino is yes. In my ever-so-humble opinion, a close-up of a passionate kiss in a high school yearbook is inappropriate; whether that kiss is two males, two females, a male and a female, a male and a South American swamp rabbit, a female and a Brahma bull, ...

    And are you people so blind to the gradually occurring changes over the past two decades that you consider it perfectly agreeable to air such in a school publication?

    But, to answer the question within your question, yes, I find open homosexuality offensive, personally.

    Perhaps the darling little children's book, "Daddy's Special Friend", which was bought and paid for by many school boards to help small children (3rd and 4th graders) learn about the wonders of "alternative lifestyles" has done its job well. Hilary should be well pleased, (since she so strongly fought for the inclusion of that book and an instructional unit on homosexuality into sex education classes when she served on a school advisory panel in Arkansas).

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  20. #20
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    What's up with "selling" pages in the book anyway????

    If they are going to charge someone to place a "vanity" page in the book, they needed to have very clear rules about what would be accepted in the layout. You should never yield editorial control to anyone.

    I think the whole idea of selling pages of content to individuals is a bad idea. The yearbook is about the whole school, not about who has the money for a solo page of their own. If you need underwriting, you sell ad space.

    And if you don't want pictures of some people kissing, then you have to say there will be no pictures of anyone kissing.

    Did the kid do it for attention? Of course he did! That sort of thing has been going on in yearbooks forever. There's always someone who tries to slip something in that borders on silly or inappropriate.
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