The Kids Are Alright, Vol. 367

Student journalism for the win:

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.


7 thoughts on “The Kids Are Alright, Vol. 367

  1. Let’s see if we can spot another part of teh funny here:
    Parents send their kids to a school named after ascandalous public figure (by 19th-century standards, anyway), then get upset by a currently-scandalous issue.
    For the record, I don’t think vaginas are scandalous (quite the opposite, actually). But I’m sure lots of people in the late 1800’s didn’t care so much about out-of-wedlock children, either. I do, however, care about historical irony.

  2. When I was ed. of my h.s. newspaper, we wanted to do a story on birth control and the principal and the school board threatened to pull our funding. Our faculty adviser was a by-the-book gal who ran every potentially controversial article by the principal, so there was no way around Mr. Choate (other than a subversive mimeographed newsletter that somehow made it into the girls and boys bathrooms).
    It just makes me wonder what’s going to happen to the faculty adviser who signed off on this one…

  3. I’m very confused. How can a vagina be considered obscene? Aren’t there pictures of vaginas in every 9th grade biology book? (Granted, it may be labeled “birth canal” but it’s still the same body part.) Vaginas are about as obscene as any other internal organ. (Especially INTESTINES–now those are offensive!)
    Oh, unless the labeled diagram actually showed avulva instead of avagina. Because the labia and urethra are a) actually visible from the outside and b) not directly involved in childbirth, they could be considered “obscene”.
    And we won’t even mention the clitoris, even though I suspect none of the people who are complaining would have a clue what we’re talking about…

  4. Dorothy,
    for starters, intestines are not offensive…they are flat out ‘offal’! LOL!!!
    And as for the clitoris problem, I will bet you dollars to donuts the offended mothers protesting are mad that their clitoral regions haven’t been pursued at all in the last quarter century – so they are understandably easily unbalanced. πŸ˜‰

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