Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kasey Landrum Wears Makeup......So What?

Up in Tennessee, which seems to be turning into the land of LGBT discrimination, sixteen-year-old Lexington High School student Kasey Landrum was suspended from school for wearing makeup. Oh, yeah, Kasey's a young man, a young gay man, which, I guess, is the reason for the suspension.

He says, of the suspension, "The principal walked into the school and immediately started yelling at me and told me to get outside."

Kasey did just what Principal Steve Lindsey instructed without a reply. But another student, who witnessed the incident, told Lindsey that Kasey was just expressing himself by wearing the makeup. Lindsey and that student exchanged words, and that student was given a one-day suspension. The next day Kasey was issued a three day in-school suspension. For wearing makeup.

Shelly Maness, Kasey's mother, said her son was suspended on the basis that he violated school dress code which states: "When a student is attired in a manner, which is likely to cause disruption or interference with normal operation of the school, the administration will take the appropriate action. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the teachers and administrators will prevail."

In discussing the matter, Henderson County Superintendent Steve Wilkinson said, "I don't know what kind of disruption it may have cause or may not have caused." He did say, however, that the principal has the authority to determine what is deemed a distraction.

Kasey Landrum was also asked to leave a school football game because he wore makeup, but says there are students, male students, who wear what he calls a "punk rock" style makeup, but are never punished.

When asked if he knew of any students he had distracted with his makeup, Kasey said there were no incidents which were caused as a result of him wearing makeup and said overall the students and teachers have been very supportive of him.
"I'm proud of myself for being as comfortable as I am, but sometimes I wish I was straight."
What are we doing to these kids? How is it ever acceptable to make them feel so ashamed of who they are that they wish to be something else? We try, and more often than not fail, to protect them from being bullied, but then we have school officials who use their own prejudices, or sexual uncertainties, to punish gay students. Principal Lindsey may not know it, but by his continually calling attention to Kasey Landrum, and calling him a distraction, and sending him home from school, he's setting up the chance for Kasey to be bullied by students.

I mean, if the principal can do it..........


froggy said...

I remember our principal having to wade into the middle of Eldest's band's lead singer dressing up as the homecoming queen at the homecoming queen ceremony where their band performed. For some reason the girls were all dressed in very casual pants and blouses. Lead Singer had fishnets, short little black dress, heels, fur jacket, sash, blonde wig and makeup. He was gorgeous :-) No matter which way he turned (the principal) there were supportive parents and there were outraged parents.

That said - never, ever, ever yell at a student, never do it in front of other students and always look at the big picture.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Chicagoland but I've lived in Tennessee for more than 20 years and it still feels like stepping back in time.

But I was pleased to learn that , with the help of Tennessee Equality Project (http://tnep.org/) and LGBTQNation (http://www.lgbtqnation.com/),
the county School Board has intervened to reverse the policy that led to Kasey Landrum's suspension.

As long as brave young men and women like Kasey continue to speak up and make sure that their voices are heard, they will help Tennessee catch up with the times.

designing wally said...

It seems that the only on truly distracted is the principal....

What on earth could that mean?

Anonymous said...

Let's hope young Master Landrum files suit against the district and the school principal!

The policy is highly subjective which is always BAD policy.

mistress maddie said...

A guy wearing make-up?????? Why I never. I can't believe that. I think I need a bromide.

Biki said...

what is UP with schools nowadays? why do they keep hiring these total asshats with 3 brain cells?

Anonymous said...

Kasey can do a great smokey eye. Call me jealous!

Beth said...

And Keith Richards wears eyeliner. Don't fuck with Keith Richards.