Male Student Suspended for Wearing Makeup
Three-day suspension. That’s what a teenager in Tennessee received for wearing eye makeup at school. It all happened 10 minutes after classes ended for the day. The 11th grader – Kasey Landrum, 16 – was handed a suspension by his Lexington High School for supposedly violating the school’s dress code, which loosely says teachers can use discretion about questions of wardrobe appropriateness. But Landrum, The Advocate reports, says he was singled out, not for the makeup, but because he’s openly gay.
The teen has been reprimanded for wearing makeup in the past by school officials, even though another male student – described as being “punk rock” – wears it all the time without any problems. “He had it on all day, and I was like, ‘If he can wear makeup, so can I,'” Landrum told the local news. “The principal walked into the school and immediately started yelling at me for it, and told me to get outside.”
Tennessee Equality Project – an LGBT right organization in the state – came to Landrum’s defense, writing on its blog: “Youth really are fighting on the front lines of equality. It’s sad that some adults get angrier about self-expression than low tests scores and other real problems in our schools. Self-expression is becoming a form of everyday fighting back in Tennessee. Its value, besides just letting a person be comfortable in his or her own skin, is to make right wingers overreach in their response, which has the effect of clarifying everyone’s rights. And that takes the issue beyond a mere expression of the self and into the realm of commonly held values relating to the First Amendment.”
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