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Openly gay kids at a school dance may be a sign of change in Pinellas County. But in Clovis, N.M., they're including gay couples in the school yearbook.

A May 23 Associated Press story said two lesbian couples and nine straight couples were featured in a section titled "Do you want to go out?" The yearbook staff at Clovis High School decided to do so because, in the words of the editor, "We just wanted to show that there is a diversity. There (are) gay and lesbian couples in the school and they have a right to be in the yearbook just as much as anybody else does."

This did not go over well with everybody. Even the lieutenant governor weighed in, calling the inclusion "highly inappropriate" and "negligent exploitation of our kids."

Oh, one more note about the Pinellas dance: Lynn Mattiace, a resource teacher who works with the gay-straight alliances, told The Gradebook the dances aren't much different from your typical proms and homecoming dances – except that the kids at the gay-straight dance tend to be better behaved.

For the most part, she said, chaperones don't have to hound them about dirty dancing and foul language, as they often do with the kids at other dances. And when the gay-straight dance is over, "Kids turn around say 'Thank you,' " she said. "They're just so thankful for what we've done for them."

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:45am]


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