Students petition to reinstate lesbian couple's yearbook photo

Students petition to reinstate lesbian couple's yearbook photo

Credit: Tina Rivera

Students petition to reinstate lesbian couple's yearbook photo

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by James Muñoz / KENS 5

kvue.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Felicia Rivera is a junior at Brennan High School. The 16-year-old and her girlfriend are at the center of a controversy over a yearbook photo.

"Ever since I was little I've been sort of an outcast, you could say, but I mean I lived with it," said Rivera.

Rivera is lesbian. She said recently a school photographer snapped a photo of her holding her girlfriend on campus.

The photo was selected for the Valentine's Day couple's page, but later rejected. Rivera said it was removed only after the yearbook supervisor discovered the picture showcased a lesbian couple.

"You shouldn't be discriminated against just because you're gay," said Rivera. "You shouldn't worry about people bashing you or talking behind your back just for you to be you."

Rivera's father, Felix, encourages his daughter to be herself and said he's behind her 100 percent as she tries to have the photo reinstated.

Felicia has gathered about 200 student signatures calling for the photo to be placed back in the yearbook.

"They were fine with it until they realized it was girl-girl," said Felix Rivera. "It got placed, it got set and it was going to print and then it got pulled."

Administrators in the Northside ISD said several leaders reviewed the photo and determined it was a little too intimate and violated the student handbook policy regarding public display of affection.

"All children are welcomed in Northside schools," said Pascual Gonzalez, director of public information. "We make no judgment about students' sexual orientation or anything else like that. All students are welcome."

Felicia and her partner plan to start an equality club at Brennan High School. Felicia also said the photographer who snapped the controversial photo was removed from the yearbook staff. Although it was not clear whether the photo led to his removal.

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