"> Name: Gay student's election posters removed from N.C. school

Date:  1995 - 2005

Location:  North America

SubjectSexual/Gender Orientation

MediumPublic Speech

Artist: Jarred Gamwell

Confronting Bodies: Principal of Hunt High School

Date of Action: May 2004

Specific Location: Wilson, North Carolina

Description of Artwork: Gamwell displayed two posters for his sophomore class presidential election. One said, "Jarred Gamwell for S.G.A. President/Queer Eye for Hunt High," and the other "Vote Jarred Gamwell/Gay Guys Know Everything!"

Description of Incident: Shortly after Gamwell hung his posters the school's Principal, Bill Williamson, removed them from the school hallway. School officials suggested that the posters were "disruptive of the educational process" and cited school board policy 6850 which gives the school "the right to control and censor speech." Gamwell countered that arguement with policy 5021 which reads, "If they are prohibited from speaking because of their points of view, academic freedom is endangered. Students need to study issues upon which there is disagreement." Jarred contacted the ACLU who tried to postpone the election. The principal banned all candidates speeches, fearing more disruptions from Jarred.

Results of Incident: Jarred lost the election, coming in fourth place with 133 out of 866 votes. He recieved support from all over the country, even recieving a phone call from Ted Allen, star of "Queer Eye for the Staight Guy."

Source: The New York Times, 5/5/2004

Submitted By: NCAC

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