Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's okay. You can look now

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.
I was thrilled to read the latest post on Mombian.
There's a happy ending!
The back story is that this picture of high school sweethearts was crossed out of all the high school yearbooks. This decision was made by the Newark superintendent who called the photo "provocative." Attention from advocacy groups has introduced her to a different word: homophobic.
The superintendent privately apologized to Jackson, publicly apologized in front of the entire graduating class, used the word "homophobic" to describe her own actions, the school district is redistributing yearbooks with the photo, the superintendent will meet at least quarterly with a new queer rights/education task group to continue improving the environment for queer students.
A great model of accountability. Public recognition of the harmful action, taking responsibility for the harm, restorative action and a formal commitment to continue listening to/working with the community harmed.
Let's see how it actually works out.
But for now. . .pretty good start.

No comments: