Official orders high school newspaper to remove gay ad

PENNSYLVANIA — A school superintendent ordered an ad from a support group for gay and lesbian teenagers removed from an issue of a high school newspaper that had already been printed.

Carol Reisinger, director of Common Roads, said the business card-size ad, which listed contact information and meeting times for the club, was to be run in the November issue of Lampeter-Strasburg High School’s Limelight.

Common Roads is a 14-year-old support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teenagers in Central Pennsylvania that holds adult-supervised meetings, Reisinger said. The group is a non-profit organization that is not affiliated with the school.

Evan Macy, Limelight editor, said the newspaper adviser and the principal had approved the ad before Superintendent Robert Frick pulled it. The paper was reprinted without the ad.

Frick did not return calls seeking comment, but he did tell WGAL News 8, a local TV station, that the ad encouraged students to attend “something we know nothing about.”

Macy said he thinks officials were just uncomfortable running an ad from a gay and lesbian group. An ad announcing meetings for a Christian group would never have been pulled from the paper, he said.

Macy said he is circulating a petition calling for the ad’s publication and “a lot of people are signing it.”

“We want to present our argument to the school board,” Macy said of the newspaper’s plans. “The next board meeting is in January so we’ll work towards that.”

Reisinger said Common Roads would like to see the ad in Limelight, but as a non-profit, the organization does not have the money to fight a legal battle over the issue.

by Clay Gaynor, SPLC staff writer