Administrators at Sheridan High School, located just south of Little Rock, are refusing to include an interview with openly gay student Taylor Ellis in this year’s yearbook. The NWA Center for Equality, a grassroots advocacy organization working to achieve full equality for the LGBTQ and ally community, is calling on Sheridan Superintendent Brenda Haynes and Principal Rodney Williams to reverse the decision.
In a letter to both Haynes and Williams, NWA Center for Equality President James Rector said:
“This deeply saddens us at the Center that the student’s wishes to publish his story have been refused, and we feel this type of discrimination is detrimental to the development of LGBTQ students in not only Sheridan, but also across the state and nation. This sends a clear message that they are second class citizens and not equally valued.”
Read the full letter at: nwaequality.org
NWA Center for Equality
The NWA Center for Equality is a grassroots advocacy organization working to achieve full equality while creating an environment that embraces, promotes and supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally community of Northwest Arkansas.
Editor’s Note: Upon further inquiry, The Free Weekly learned that Taylor Ellis was one of six high schoolers interviewed by year book staff for student bios that would be printed in the student yearbook. The principal and superintendent would not run his story for “fears of bullying.” No student bios ended up running in the student year book. James Rector of NWA Center for Equality pointed out that Arkansas has strict anti-bullying laws that should protect Ellis. The yearbook staff member who interviewed Ellis also feels the refusal was a violation of her freedom of speech.