Gay student suspended for make-up prompts US school’s policy reversal

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A Tennessee county school board has intervened to reverse policy after Kasey Landrum, an openly gay student, was suspended for wearing make-up.

Kasey Landrum, 16, told WBBJ-TV that when he arrived at a class wearing purple eye shadow: “The principal walked into the school and immediately started yelling at me for it, and told me to get outside”.

He was given an in-school suspension for three days for violating the school’s dress code.

The code 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.”

Kasey went on to tell WBBJ-TV that another male student had been wearing make-up in a punk-rock style.

He said: “He had it on all day, and I was like, “If he can wear make-up, so can I”.

The 16-year-old said he has suffered from depression in the past by 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”.

His mother, Shelly Maness, told the news station: “I’m very upset about it because he can’t be who he wants to be”.

The Tennessee Equality Project and LGBTQNation intervened and Kasey’s suspension was reversed.

A new school policy allowing all students to wear make-up was then put in place.

Superintendent Wilkinson, of Henderson County, said: ‘I guess that the easiest thing to do would be to go to a standard policy but we have in the past given a little freedom to our children and their parents about what they choose the wear.’