Target: Ms. Cassandra Akers, Principal of Betsy Layne High School
Goal: Reprint yearbook to include basketball player who was allegedly left out due to his sexuality and apologize to him.
A high school basketball player was allegedly intentionally omitted from his school’s yearbook due simply to the fact that he is gay. He was the only player left out of the team’s two page spread and he has said that not seeing himself there was devastating. This type of behavior is unacceptable and something must be done to make this school answer for what this wrongdoing and reprint this offensive, exclusionary yearbook.
Dalton Maldonado is Betsy Layne High School’s first openly gay basketball player. The team he plays for has embraced him with open arms, but the same cannot be said for other teams. Several months ago, while attending a basketball tournament, Dalton received an unbelievable amount of harassment from the players of an opposing team. Allegedly, they followed the team’s bus away from the tournament, shouting hateful slurs and pounding on the windows. This type of treatment is despicable but, sadly, nothing out of the ordinary. The school responsible made exculpatory statements and the players of the opposing team faced little to no punishment for their hateful actions.
Now, Dalton’s own school has turned against him. It’s not entirely clear who’s directly responsible for this at present, but it’s undoubtedly some bigot who thinks that they’re superior to others. Dalton was intentionally left off of a two-page spread for the basketball team in his school’s yearbook and he believes it was due to his sexuality. Something must be done to make this right and spare this young man from prejudice at the hands of his own school. Sign here to demand that Principal Cassandra Akers apologize publicly to Dalton and have the yearbook reprinted to include him.
Dear Principal Akers,
Your school is intentionally harassing a young man and excluding him from your yearbook based on his sexuality. I don’t care what your personal opinions are on homosexuality or homosexual relationships, this is wrong and it must be fixed before this young man is traumatized any further for trying to be who he truly is. Life as a closeted high school student is difficult, but your school, and others in your area, have made being openly gay even more painful for Dalton Maldonado.
I do not know who is directly responsible for Mr. Maldonado being left out of the yearbook, and frankly, I don’t care. I am writing to demand that this be put right and that your school offer him a full and extremely public apology. This type of behavior is unacceptable for an institution of learning and Mr. Maldonado deserves better. I am also writing to demand that you make whoever is responsible reprint the yearbook to include Mr. Maldonado so that he doesn’t have to live his life feeling like an outcast. Please make the right decision and know that the world is not watching Betsy Layne.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Djarizpe13