Is this life imitating art, or the other way around?
In a controversy that could be played out on the set of Glee, a male student at Alice High School in Texas claims that he was kicked off the cheerleading squad and suspended from school for two days after a surveillance tape showed him kissing another male student in a hallway.
The 17-year-old, who has spoken to the local media about the situation but does not want to be identified, told KRIS-TV in Texas that he feels he was targeted by administrators because of his sexual orientation, since public displays of affection are common throughout the school and rarely considered punishable offenses.
“We would be the ones getting caught because I’m sure we were the only ones, sexual orientation wise, being caught like that,” the student told KRIS. “In this school [kissing] is everywhere. If that were the case, suspending everyone for that, half the school would be suspended.”
The school has denied that the student was suspended for merely puckering up, yet the administration has refused to give a reason for the disciplinary action. After reviewing the case at the request of the student’s parents, the district released a statement Monday saying that the suspension and removal from the cheer squad would stand, even though Alice High School principal Lucy Munoz told KRIS, “The district does not suspend students for kissing other students at school, regardless of the gender of the student.”
So what was the real reason that the student was booted from the squad? Judging from the district’s statement, it seems we’ll never find out:
“The student code of conduct and cheer handbook are designed to improve conduct and encourage students to adhere to their responsibilities as members of the school community. The student and parents are clearly aware that the student was not removed from the squad for kissing another student at school. While the student is free to discuss certain aspects of his discipline in the media, the District cannot discuss the specifics of this incident and must respect the privacy rights of the students involved in this matter.”
As for the student, he told KZTV that he and his parents disagree with the punishment, but have decided against pursuing further action. While it appears he won’t be cheering this year, the student has managed to collect his own team of cheerleaders who support his call for equality.