A high school principal in Perth, Australia, has apologized after banning artwork showing an American football player with the words "I'm Gay" written on it. The art work was designed for an exhibit on social issues.
Governor Stirling Senior High School principal Pasco Putrino said he had made a quick decision based on what he believed the school community's expectations were for an art exhibition.
"Had there been more time I may have seen things differently, however I realise in hindsight this was the wrong move and I apologize to the student who didn't have the opportunity to see their art on display," he said in a statement.
Fortunately, the students have more common sense and wisdom than their principal and created a Facebook page to highlight the issue. They also started wearing T-shirts with the "I'm Gay" artwork. The students posted this on their Facebook page:
On Wednesday the 16th of September 2015 there was an art exhibition at Governor Stirling Senior High School, the year 10 Artsmedia class had been working on their street art style pieces for weeks to get them ready for this exhibition. The theme for this class was social issues, one student in this class had a piece with an american footballer on it saying "IM GAY" across the top.
When the night came around the class was astounded to hear that one of their works wouldn't be displayed due to the intense "social controversy" surrounding the theme of this piece. But still a similar piece with the words "LOVE IS LOVE" written on it was allowed to be displayed. The class demanded an explanation on why the piece was banned from the exhibition and finally on Wednesday the 23rd they were given a very flimsy explanation. This sent the entire class into outrage and they planned a way to show that what had happened was not okay.
The idea they they settled on was to wear shirts with the banned artwork on them and get the school to wear rainbow to support them of Friday the 25th. They had an amazing outcome with a large number of people wearing rainbow clothing or getting their faces painted by students in their recess and lunch break. The support coming from the students, teachers and parents is overwhelming, people are outraged that in current times there are still people who are trying to keep these things out of schools, to stop their students from being who they are.
As a fight back against homophobia in schools the students of Governor Stirling have started a hashtag, #RainbowforRights, and they are urging people to add something rainbow to their outfit for a day and post a picture with the hashtag to show their support.
In looking at the art, the player resembles former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, who struck an identical pose in this photo. My guess is that the artist had an idea in mind and came up with the first image that he thought fit what he was looking for. By banning the artwork, the principal gave it more attention than it ever would have had he simply let it be.