Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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Gay Pride?
On Parade

Suspended For A Kiss
Stephanie Haaser, left, and her mother Mary Haaser, right, defend an unconventional high school protest which led to a suspension.

Improper Protest?

Same-Sex Smooch Gets High School Girls Suspended

C L A R K S V I L L E, Md., Nov. 14— Two high school girls were suspended for sharing a 12-second-long protest kiss, which they say was part of their English class assignment.

Stephanie Haaser, a junior at River Hill High School, says she jumped on a table during lunch and yelled "end homophobia now" before engaging in the kiss with a female friend.

Haaser said her very public display of protest in the form of a kiss was part of an English class assignment that required students to perform a "non-conformist" act.

Shunned from Honor Society

The act got Haaser and her friend suspended, and now Haaser also faces disqualification from the National Honor Society, too.

The Stunt/Kiss that started it all: story

Meanwhile, Haaser said she would choose to pull off the same "non-conformist" act if she had it to do over again.

"I had not known this would be the consequence, but I would have done it anyway," Haaser said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "It has sparked this reaction within the school and student body. The demonstration was not for the administration. It was for the student body," she said.

Haaser said the kiss was about drawing attention to gay and lesbian students who are treated poorly by their peers at the school. She and her partner in the protest are heterosexual, Haaser said.

Mom: ‘Super Idea’

Her mother, Mary Haaser, says she knew about her daughter's plan and believes Stephanie is being punished for standing up for something she believes in.

"To me, it sounded like a super idea," Mary Haaser said. "She didn't go into all the specifics about how long the kiss would be or where it would be. But I actually encouraged her to do it in a place where the other students would see her," she said.

River Hill administrators suspended Haaser and her protest partner from school for two days after the Nov. 5 stunt. School officials said the girls were suspended because they disrupted the "orderly operation" of the school.

Haaser's English teacher has assigned the same project in past years, but this is the first time it has caused any issues, according to school officials.

The teacher's instructions for the assignment include the exlusion of illegal or inappropriate acts while completing the work.

Several days after Haaser's return, two other high school juniors protested her suspension. They held signs that read "Where is the love? End homophobia now," near campus after school. The students told school officials that they, too, believe that gay students, and those who support them, often are picked on.

School officials have said they have not been made aware of any specific incidents of harrassment, but they plan to look into the protesters' complaints.

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