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.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .