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The 17-year old cheerleader claims he was suspended when security cameras caught him kissing another man. Image: Flickr / tompagenet / CC-BY-SA

In Alice, Texas, a fight over a student’s suspension is brewing. A gay male cheerleader claims he was suspended for kissing another male. School officials have said they are reviewing the suspension.

Cheerleader’s suspension

In an interview with a Corpus Christi television station, a 17-year-old senior cheerleader at Alice High School outlined his situation. Just after making the Varsity cheer squad, the cheerleader was informed that he had been kicked off the squad and suspended. The cheerleader believes that these actions were because school security cameras caught him kissing another male student on campus.

The school’s response

School officials have said that the suspension and ejection off the cheer squad were not related to the cheerleader’s sexuality. In an official statement released by the school, the principal says:

While kissing is not appropriate conduct for students at school, the District does not suspend students for kissing. … The Cheer Program Handbook requires students to adhere to a higher standard of conduct than that which applies to the general student population.

The official response from the school does not specifically deny or confirm why the student was suspended and ejected from the squad, only that the case is being reviewed.

Student accuses school of unfair targeting

The suspended student, who is asking to not be identified, says he has been unfairly targeted, which violates the school’s anti-discrimination policy. Cheerleading squad members’ parents who spoke to the news media highlighted that a pregnant member of the cheerleading squad and a mother on the squad have not been suspended, and public displays of affection are common at the school. The student and his parents met with school administrators on Thursday, and the school is reviewing the suspension.

Sources

The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/10/14/Male_Cheerleader_Suspended_For_Kissing_Another_Boy/
MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44903115/ns/us_news-life/t/teen-kissing-another-male-cost-me-my-cheerleading-post/#.TpxdLGOP-_0
Alice High School Press Release (PDF): http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i//MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_U.S.%20news/Life/AHSPressStatement.pdf

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