lifeblood: listlogs: 1998v01n071-news


ig-news-digest          sunday, may 10 1998          volume 01 : number 071


                               today's subjects:
                               -----------------
  [ig-news] article re national gay and lesbian task force support  [sherlyn]
  [none]                                    [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>]


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date: sun, 10 may 1998 12:46:52 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [ig-news] article re national gay and lesbian task force support


hey folks,


i found this on the newsgroup (alt.music.indigo-girls)...


- -sherlyn


- --
from: indigokat@aol.com (indigokat)
newsgroups: alt.music.indigo-girls
subject: article re national gay and lesbian task force support
date: 9 may 1998 03:37:49 gmt

national gay and lesbian task force supports indigo girls in the face of
homophobia;  amy ray speaks out


washington, dc---may 7, 1998--- the indigo girls keep singing in the
midst of yet another cancellation of one of their high school
performances.  what began as a generous gesture to bring art into high
schools has turned into an unfortunate lesson in intolerance and
homophobia. the national gay and lesbian task force has been in ongoing  
contact with the indigo girls and activists in columbia, south carolina
during the course of this week long drama (a statement from indigo girl
amy ray is attached).


        "we are supporting the indigo girls as they battle ignorance and
intolerance, and we remain hopeful that the administrators responsible
for the cancellation of these shows will engage in sincere dialogue with
amy and emily and their local gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
communities," stated task force executive director kerry lobel.  "we know
from amy and emily that they are disappointed in the actions of these
officials.  they also understand that this situation presents them with a
unique opportunity to educate students, teachers, and parents about the
vast limitations of homophobia," added lobel.


last wednesday in south carolina, irmo high school principal gerald witt
canceled a performance by the duo scheduled for today, saying through a
spokesperson it was because saliers and ray are lesbians. the next day,
the principal of germantown high school in tennessee called off a
scheduled performance, claiming it was because of profanity in their
songsı lyrics.  and tuesday, officials at another tennessee high school
nixed a show that was slated for yesterday.  in the face of these
insults, the grammy award winning duo is going on with the show.  today
they will perform in columbia, south carolina but off high school
grounds.  the show is free to high school students.


"weıre very concerned for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
students of these high schools.  we already know that sexual minority
youth face more violence and harassment than non-gay youth, now, thanks
to the actions of their principals, they may have more to look forward
to," said lobel.  "itıs unconscionable that these administrators are more
concerned with appeasing a few intolerant parents than with the health
and safety of their students," she added.
        
        the indigo girls are deeply committed to social justice issues and
actively support a number of causes.  later this year they will be
performing a benefit show for the national gay and lesbian task force.  
"we are grateful for amy and emilyıs leadership and courage," said lobel.
"they are exceptional role models for all students," she added.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------
this has been a message from the ig-news list.
please send feedback, questions etc to owner-ig-news@smoe.org.
submissions are welcome - please send these to ig-news@smoe.org.


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date: sun, 10 may 1998 12:56:02 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <sherlyn@fl.net.au>
subject: [none]


hey folks,


this comes from sonicnet (http://www.sonicnet.com)...


- -sherlyn


===
[ thu., may 7, 11:10 pm pdt ]


principals suspend 13 students after indigo girls protests


more than 100 students at schools in south carolina and tennessee walk
out of class defiantly.


contributing editor randy reiss reports:


a total of 13 students were suspended from school following class
walk-outs on wednesday and thursday in knoxville, tenn., and irmo, s.c.,
to protest recent cancellations of two separate in-school indigo girls
concerts. the concerts were canceled due to community protests over the
duo's homosexuality and stage show.


in protests staged wednesday at farragut high school in knoxville, about
100 students walked out of the building first during and then after
class hours to protest peacefully on the grounds of the school,
according to students. about 50 more students walked out of class at
irmo high school in irmo, s.c., on thursday to protest their principal's
decision to call off the school-assembly gig scheduled for that day.


the first walk-out in knoxville came in reaction to farragut principal
edwin hedgepeth's decision to cancel an indigo girls concert scheduled
for last wednesday at the school, citing reports that the group had used
the word "fucking" onstage while performing "shame on you" (realaudio
excerpt) at an april 13 concert at loganville, ga.'s loganville high
school.


kanishka biddanda, co-editor of the crow's nest, farragut high
school's newspaper, said that students held walk-outs twice during the
day, once when the indigo girls -- singer/guitarists amy ray and emily
saliers -- were supposed to perform at 12:30 p.m. and again after
school at 3:30 p.m.


ironically, this protest and canceled performance fell on the school's
"opposite day," a day when seniors at the school were encouraged to
cross dress. the week was also the school's "senior spirit week."


"we had actually planned the first protest the night before," biddanda
explained, "but principal hedgepeth got wind of it and sent word out to
teachers that anyone walking out of class would be suspended."


in spite of that warning, the first group of student-protesters walked
right past principal hedgepeth at 12:30 p.m. and gathered around the
flag pole in the front of the school, which has a total
student-population of 2,100. hedgepeth then warned students to return
to class or face suspension, according to biddanda, at which time all
but three students either returned to their lunch period or went back
to class. "[the three remaining students] then sat down on the curb,"
biddanda said, "and were warned once again to return to class."


biddanda also said that one of the three students, 16-year-old holly
alfrod, told hedgepeth that her parents were supportive of her actions.
"i had my radio with me and an indigo girls cd (shaming of the sun)
playing 'shame on you.' we were sitting on the sidewalk and the
principal asked us if we wanted to go back to class and i said 'thanks,
i'm just going to sit right here.' "


alfrod said she missed chemistry class and would begin her suspension
immediately. "i'm glad that it happened but i'm sorry that the show at
our school was canceled. i think it was rude of the principal to cancel
it on such short notice." calls to principal hedgepeth were not returned
by press time, but a source in his office who requested that she not be
named confirmed that the three students had been suspended for three
days.


"i wasn't thrilled that holly got suspended but it made me feel real
good that she did it," said her mother, jill wolmac, who added that she
felt students were deceived into believing the cancellation had nothing
to do with sexuality.


the second protest at the school occurred at 3:30 p.m. and was covered
extensively by the local media. this time it was reported that about 50
students gathered around the flag pole after school, many wearing
clothes with rainbows, a symbol of gay pride, and holding signs that
read "homophobia is a social disease" and "free speech is dead at fhs."
according to andrew wiseman, 18, a senior at farragut high and the
designer of a "free speech is dead at fhs" t-shirt, press were not
allowed on school property during the protest, so the students left
school grounds to approach the press. "a lot of people were really
supportive," wiseman said.


on thursday, students at irmo high school held a similar protest in
reaction to principal gerald witt's cancellation of the indigo girls
show originally scheduled for that day. the principal bowed to
complaints from parents and students about the folkie duo's sexuality
and the idea of staging a concert during a school assembly. in this
case, about 50 students walked out of class at 8:45 a.m. those students
were soon joined, however, by the entire student body of 1,800 after
someone pulled a fire alarm, according to buddy price, district 5 school
board spokesman.


"after all the students returned to class following the fire drill,"
price explained, "those same 50 students remained outside." when the 50
students were asked to return to class after a half-hour, price said that
12 of the students defiantly sat in a circle, refusing to move. so far,
10 of the 12 students have been given eight-day suspensions for
disrupting the educational process, price added.


"we have guidelines which state that we talk to the students before
taking action," he said, "and we are absolutely going by the book with
these students."


while the students in irmo were dealing with the protests and a free
indigo girls concert on thursday at the 3,000-capacity richland township
auditorium in columbia, s.c., held to make up for the show cancellation
at the nearby school, indigo girls supporters in knoxville were already
reminiscing over the grammy-winning duo's free-for-students gig at the
500-capacity barley & hops club on wednesday night.


"it was a really great show," wiseman said. "i didn't really know about
their music before the concert, but i recognized a lot of the songs."
both wiseman and biddanda said that the crowd and the indigo girls gave
a lot of energy, with the performers constantly thanking the crowd for
having them and the audience singing along to nearly every song.


for biddanda, the highlight of the show came when one student passed a
suspension slip to the stage. "amy [ray] read it aloud," he said.
"everyone laughed and then they signed it. that was really cool."

- ---------------------------------------------------------------
this has been a message from the ig-news list.
please send feedback, questions etc to owner-ig-news@smoe.org.
submissions are welcome - please send these to ig-news@smoe.org.


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end of ig-news-digest v1 #71
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