MINNESOTA — Administrators at Champlin Park High School told the yearbook staff to take out a page dedicated to a pro-gay club because they said they wanted to protect the anonymity of the students.
The principal said allowing the Gay Straight Alliance to be in the Rebelation would violate an Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District policy that requires the school to “take a neutral stance on homosexuality.” The club’s adviser said, however, that the policy demonstrates the district’s anti-gay stance. She recited a passage of the policy that said, “Homosexuality will not be addressed as a normal or valid lifestyle. No school funding will go to the promotion of homosexuality.”
Georgia Larson, adviser to the yearbook, said that it was the decision of school officials, not the yearbook staff, to remove the page from the yearbook.
The Rebelation staff wanted to include the club in the yearbook because, “it just seemed like the right and fair thing to do,” Larson said. The staff might establish an editorial policy this fall, which Larson speculates will address the issue of what groups can and cannot be included in the yearbook.
Principal David Brom said that only school-sponsored groups are pictured in the yearbook, but he acknowledged that a Christian club that was not affiliated with the school was included in the 2002-03 edition.
Martha Pedersen, the adviser to Gay Straight Alliance, said she receives a stipend for advising the club, which meets on school grounds.n