Two high school girls at River Hills High School in Clarkesville, MD were suspended on November 5 for a kiss they claimed was an act of protest against discrimination faced by homosexual students. After climbing on top of lunch tables, Katherine Pecore and Stephanie Haaser shouted "End Homophobia Now!" and proceeded to kiss each other for about 10 to 15 seconds, according to the Washington Post.
Haaser explained the act was part of an English assignment that required her to perform a "non-conformist act." The class was studying Transcendentalist authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Haaser explained to ABC's Good Morning America, the kiss was a demonstration to draw "attention to gay and lesbian students who are treated poorly by their peers at the school."
Scott Pfeifer, the principal of River Hill High School, said the girls were suspended for being disruptive. "Anyone who would stand up and do a disruptive act, I would treat them the same way," Pfeifer told the Washington Post. The fact that the kiss involved two girls was "totally meaningless to me." According to the Post, the school acknowledges insensitivity towards homophobic students and plans on investigating claims of homophobia.
4/17/2014 Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights - India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court. . . .