Friday, May 27, 2005

Dr. Ron Lankford put it in black and white.
LaStaysha Myers will be able to wear gay rights t-shirts to Webb City High School when the 2005-2006 school year begins.
In a letter dated Tuesday, May 24, and addressed to Ms. Myers' mother, Leda Myers, Lankford wrote, "This letter is concerning the restriction as to your daughter, Lastaysha's, wearing of t-shirts related to the recent controversy involving homosexual rights. You should be aware that the goal of the restrictions was to close the 2004-2005 school year without further disruptions to the educational environment. The district's actions in restricting LaStaysha's t-shirts, and those of approximately a dozen other students, was simply to refocus students' attention away from disruptive circumstances and toward our mission in the classrooms."
Lankford continued, "The Webb City R-7 School District has no position as to non-educational political issues, and specifically no position as to homosexual rights. This is evidenced by the fact that such t-shirts were worn without restriction prior to the outbreak of disruptive circumstances.
"Accordingly, the restriction as to LaStaysha's t-shirts will be lifted at the start of the 2005-2006 school year, and she may wear any clothing she chooses as long as it is in compliance with the Board of Education's policies."
The letter concludes, "If you have any questions, or would like to further discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Dr. Ronald Lankford, Webb City R-7 superintendent"

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