Bil Browning

Oklahoma school won't let lesbian couple back in?

Filed By Bil Browning | November 15, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Oklahoma, overblown homophobia charges

Two Oklahoma teens are raising a clamor because they claim their school district won't let them graduate after finding out that they're a couple. The Advocate has a story up currently, but it's a little unclear how the story relates to their title: skeptical-hippo-1.jpg"Lesbian Students Stopped From Graduating."

According to KWTV News, 18-year-old Melissa McKenzie said she was kicked out of Del City High School in Del City, Okla., at the beginning of the semester when the principal found out she was living with her girlfriend instead of her family. The principal then told her if she returned to her family's home, she would be welcomed back to school.

Kelsey Hicks, McKenzie's girlfriend, dropped out of school but wanted to finish her education so she could become a firefighter. Upon asking school leaders if she could return, she said they instead encouraged her to drop out.

"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."

Is it just me or does something not add up?

Of course the school has pulled out the "We don't discriminate!" card, but unfortunately for them they're playing Go Fish while everyone else is playing Uno.

"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."

Damn shame that the policy doesn't include sexual orientation or gender identity, eh? According to their own statement, the school could have discriminated against the couple since their policy doesn't include the characteristic the two claim got them booted from the school.

However, it's not that uncommon for schools to refuse to enroll students who don't live with their guardian or parent. I've seen it in my own family. The other girl dropped out of school entirely - and of her own free will - but wanted to come back once she'd changed her mind. Am I missing something? This doesn't seem like a case of homophobia to me as much as two clueless teenagers making bad decisions that've come back to bite them in the ass.

The school isn't stopping them from graduating - one girl chose to drop out and the other one chose to live with her girlfriend instead of her family. The article doesn't say if there were issues that forced her to move in with the girlfriend, and if so that's a different kettle of fish altogether since the law will need to be involved either for a) truancy, b) child abandonment or c) emancipation proceedings.

I investigated a similar story out of Indiana last Spring where the kid claimed that the school discriminated against him for wearing a pro-gay t-shirt. In actuality, he was outside of the dress code for the school and several other students had been sent home throughout the year for the same problem. It's wasn't anti-gay, it was anti-tank top.

What do you think - overblown or a serious issue?

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Hmmmm... If the student is 18 she's an adult. I'm not sure how it's any of the school's business where she lives.

Nice post, Bil, but are you aware, the quoted story saus one of the ladies is pictured, and the picture is a hippo?

I kept wondering why everyone was writing and asking why I used the hippo pic. I thought it was self-explanatory that I used it for the "skeptical" line.

But I didn't notice that it said "(pictured)" in the blockquote. Yikes! I'll remove that right away. Holy cow, what a gaffe!

"Kelsey Hicks (pictured), McKenzie's girlfriend..."

This doesn't have much to do with the article itself so it's totally okay with me if you don't post this, but I'm a little confused. The only picture I'm seeing is not of a teenage girl, but a picture of a hippo with the caption "Skeptical Hippo". Perhaps that should be changed?

I like the hippo - keep it...or else find other places to use it.

Skeptical? just can't be sure anymore if people tell the truth the first time until you've asked them several more times and get different answers with every asking.