By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com November 04 2011 12:30 PM ET
A gay sophomore student in Lexington, Tenn. was suspended briefly this week for wearing makeup on school grounds 10 minutes after school ended. Kasey Landrum, 16, said, “The principal walked into the school and immediately started yelling at me and told me to get outside.”
Initially Landrum was issued a three day in-school suspension for violating the school’s dress code which states: “When a student is attired in a manner, which is likely to cause disruption or interference with normal operation of the school, the administration will take the appropriate action. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the teachers and administrators will prevail.”
The suspension angered his mother, Shelly Maness, who told WBBJ TV, “I’m very upset about it because he can’t be who he wants to be. I’m proud of my son, gay or straight or whatever. I want him to feel the same way.”
Landrum says he’s suffered from depression from not being able to express himself at school. “I’m proud of myself for being as comfortable as I am, but sometimes I wish I was straight,” he said.
A day after the suspension caught the attention of The Tennessee Equality Project and local and LGBTQNation, Landrum’s suspension was reversed and a new school policy decrees that any student at Lexington High School is allowed to wear makeup was enacted.