Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Fighting for Our Stories

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Fighting for Our Stories

Article excerpt

Some of the editors at East Bakersfield [Calif.] High School's student paper, The Kernal, are graduating this year, but that hasn't derailed their commitment to see that a series of articles on gay students eventually gets published in the paper. In late April John Gibson, principal of the school in California's Central Valley, forced the editors to remove a slate of five gay-themed pieces that featured candid reflections from out students. Citing safety concerns, Gibson later said the articles could only be published without the students' names. But that didn't fly with the students. They sued, and a Kern County superior court judge on May 25 denied an emergency request to allow the articles to appear in the paper's year-end issue.

"Our whole editorial staff has felt all along that this is extremely important," said Kernal editor Joel Paramo, 18, who is now pushing to get the articles published in next year's first issue. "It's not because I'm gay or that any of the other editors are gay. We just feel that this is an important issue that shouldn't be dismissed with a compromise. The students featured in the articles have a right to be who they want to be. …

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