Administrators at Sheridan High School, located just south of Little Rock, Arkansas, are refusing to include an interview with openly gay student Taylor Ellis in this year's yearbook. Instead of respecting the wishes of Taylor's fellow students to recognize him in their yearbook, school officials have told him that he's not an equally valued part of the Sheridan High School student body.
This act of discriminatory censorship sends a dangerous message to all LGBT students in Sheridan, across Arkansas, and the nation – that they are second-class citizens and their lives are not equally valid.
Join HRC and ask Sheridan Superintendent Brenda Haynes and Principal Rodney Williams to reverse the decision.
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Dear Mr. Williams and Ms. Haynes,
Your unacceptable decision to censor the profile of Taylor Ellis in the Sheridan High School yearbook has recently come to my attention. As an HRC supporter, I respectfully request that you reverse your decision and allow the profile of openly gay student, Taylor Ellis, to be printed asoriginally planned. Regardless of print deadlines, it would be unconscionable to release the yearbook with the omission of Taylor's well-deserved profile.
If not resolved immediately, this act of discriminatory censorship will send a dangerous message to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in Sheridan, across Arkansas and around the nation -- that they are second-class citizens and their lives are not equally valid. Instead of respecting the wishes of Taylor's fellow students to recognize him in their yearbook, you have told him and other students who may already feel marginalized that they are not an equally valued part of the Sheridan high school student body.
I urge you to do whatever necessary to ensure the publication of Taylor's story in the yearbook.