Grover Cleveland High School Principal Bob Marks has his limits.
On Thursday, it was the labeled diagram of a vagina splashed across the front page of the student newspaper’s Valentine’s Day issue.
Flustered teachers rushed to confiscate the publication, but with some copies already in circulation and the Reseda campus in an uproar, it quickly became a hot read for the school’s roughly 3,700 students.
And some of the contraband issues made their way home, getting a quick reaction from parents.
“My phone’s been ringing off the hook,” Marks said. Only one parent asked why the paper was taken away; the others called to say they were offended, he said.
The drawing in question ran under the hot-pink headline “Have a happy Vagina Day!” and the four-page edition included stories titled “Ending shame for nature’s gift” and “Rejected!!!!!!!”
The paper’s editor-in-chief, 15-year-old Richard Edmond, said he was trying to raise awareness of violence against women with a lead story about playwright Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”
But student editor Edmond wasn’t about to let administrators have the last word: After a flurry of overnight MySpace bulletins, he and other students showed up at school Friday wearing homemade white, black and pink T-shirts reading “My vagina is obscene.”
When Edmond and two other protesters refused to change their clothes, school officials sent them home.
Via Romenesko, from which sometimes awesome comes. I want one of those T-shirts now.