Thursday, February 21, 2008

Texas School - Its ok to wear black as long as you are not a goth

A High school in Texas has some interesting rules:

Brenham Banner-Press Online Edition
Monday, February 18, 2008

The administration at Brenham Junior High is OK with students wearing black as long as you aren’t a “goth.”

Nobody likes being told what to wear or not wear, especially school-age kids, so when the student body mistakenly came under the impression that a ban on black clothing that applied to goth students also applied to everyone else, there was something of a brouhaha.

According to principal Artis Edwards, administrators never forbid the wearing of black for the student body as a whole, it was “another one of those rumors that was out there and they (the students) jumped on it.”

He said the entire thing got started early last week when administrators were trying to determine who among the black-clothed student body was and was not a goth. In addition to that, a student who had his black jacket decorated with padlocks temporarily taken away from him seemed to become a bigger event than it really was.

Edwards explained that schools in the Brenham school district have a long standing practice not allowing some students to wear clothing that identifies them as part of a group. This practice not only applies to groups such as gangs, but also to groups like goths.

He said that although there is not a definite cause and effect, young people who are also goths tend to suffer more from depression and self-destructive behavior, especially the practice of cutting one’s self.

In addition to being known for their affinity for black clothing, goths also frequently dye their hair black, sometimes wear make-up (both sexes) and often wear silver jewelry.

He said it is the administration’s duty to act to help protect the safety and well being of students and the banning black clothing in this case is a part of that.

“I’m not a psychiatrist, but when we see all black, we know what comes next,” he said.

Edwards said he held a “Black Out Day,” in which students were encouraged to wear black, on Friday to dispel the rumor that the ban on black applied to the student body as a whole.

He said he has nothing against black clothing and frequently wears it himself.

Regardless of the intentions behind the ban though, some see the effort as a bit heavy-handed.

A mother of a student who frequently wears black pants and T-shirts said her son was asked by administrators if he was a goth. In her eyes, a policy like the junior high’s unnecessarily gets the students riled up and is ultimately ineffective, she said.

“You can wear any color and cut yourself,” she said.

Some students see it a call to action as well, and started a Myspace group called

“Against BJHS,” which has 27 members.

This follows in the heels of the recent Long Hair Discrimination case in Texas school.

Other similar cases happened in Florida [School dress Code] and Maine["Goth-style makeup" causes school problem] recently.

Newcastle teenagers

In Newcastle on Tyne a letter supporting goths and skateboarders has appeared:

Let’s give the goths a chance - ChronicleLive

REPLYING to LB from Newcastle (Your Shout, February 12), you obviously don’t like goths.

But what is wrong with goths? They look fabulous, they dress great, their hair is great, their shoes are great, their taste in music is fabulous.

Are you some old middle-class fuddy-duddy that doesn’t like anything? The goths had to move from old Eldon Square, they moved to the Monument where they cause no trouble.

Why don’t you go up to them and talk to them – you’d see that they cause no problems. The new memorial park in old Eldon Square opens next year.

The goths will just move straight back and hang around outside it.

They are not going to damage it, they are not going to spray paint it. They are not going to do anything, they just want to hang around and chat about music, where they are going, what gigs they are going to, and the same with skateboarders.

Leave the goths alone, leave the skateboarders alone.
Skateboarders are also fantastic. It’s a sport, it’s an art form.

Have you ever talked to a skateboarder and said what they are doing is great? Skateboarders have a high regard for things. They don’t trash monuments.

They’ve got grandparents who fought in the war, they are going to respect monuments, as do the goths.

Why does everybody pick on them? Just because they look different and they don’t conform to what society wants people to look like.

The goths are here to stay, so are the skateboarders. You say the shoppers are sick of it. No they are not. Neither are the businesses.

And what a lie that the buses can’t get past. They don’t stand on the main road, they have got more common sense. I don’t know if you are a man or woman. And, by the way, I’m a 39-year-old woman, just in case you wanted to know.

Why don’t you buy some goth music, go to the Carling Academy, and let your hair down.

TRACY JACKSON, South Gosforth

Noted Bmx Riders denounce Harrow park plans

Harrow Park saga continues

Bmx Riders Doubt New Park (from This Is Local London):

"THREE top BMX riders have said council plans to replace a unique skate park with an Olympic standard park are flawed.Three times British champion Mark Langstone has used the park next to Harrow Leisure Centre for more than 20 years.

The skate park is currently earmarked for the site of a new leisure centre, but Mark does not think the �300,000 pledged by Harrow Council will be enough.

The 35-year-old airline pilot, who still rides at the 1970s concrete track, told the Harrow Times: 'The park cost 300,000 to build back in 1978, so to build an Olympic standard skate park today would cost millions."

Russian Schools to Struggle Against Emo :: Russia-InfoCentre

Building on previous report on The Russia panic and in the footsteps of Malta the strange panic over Emo we have noted continues.

Russian Schools to Struggle Against Emo :: Russia-InfoCentre


The authorities of Nizhni Novgorod are concerned with protecting youth from the Emo movement. The regional Ministry of Education has provided all schools with directives warning them against the social danger of this youth subculture.

The officials have given a detailed description of how Emo followers look like and warned against this movement’s ideology, according to which Emo representatives “are immortal and in case of death they simply change their inner shape”. “The dream of every Emo is to die in a bathroom after cutting one’s veins in wrist area (it is sort of sport for them). Due to this some of them wear bandages covering the wounds” – the document reads.

The directives have been initiated by the letter addressed by Oleg Khramov, Head of Federal Security Service Department for Nizhni Novgorod Region, to the region’s Governor Valery Shantsev.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our gang - The Sunday Times on youth culture

The Sunday times reported on Hippies, Neo-indie FAUX PUNK and other unlikely groups :

Our gang - Times Online
February 17, 2008


Who they are Goths, but flamboyant ones, who exhibit the sort of confidence totally lacking in their namesakes of yesteryear. This lot aren’t outcasts from the party – theyarethey party. They love to be different and lap up the attention they get from shocked relatives. They would be devastated if a classmate didn’t throw an outfit insult or two their way.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Observer Music Monthly "Undead" on goths - Roundup of recent coverage

Alterophobia was noted in a sympathetic article "Undead" (even if it is one with a cheesy title) in The Observer Music Monthly which is good news. [Online copy here.] Following a visit to that fine night DJ De'Ath's Black Veil in Leeds the article is full of pictures and some text and includes an interview with the infamous Pete Scathe. Why they talked to Bizarre magazine about goth I am not sure but they are in there too. It does mention the goth bus couple saga of course and Sophie Lancaster briefly at the end. [Note the trial of those accused of attacking Sophie and Rob will be in Preston not Burnley as the Observer mentions.] If reading that article brought you here read on.

If you do not know about the tragic events surrounding the death of Sophie Lancaster then check out here Sophie Lancaster Wikipedia entry. Sophie Lancaster's tribute bench is now in place in Whitby (see A tribute to Sophie - Whitby Today) thanks to fundraising from the entire goth community. The SOPHIE - ["Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred (and) Intolerance Everywhere"] fund's cause of fighting against all forms of intolerance goes on as her family and friends are backing an ongoing series of events which have happened all over the country. The next one is in Lancaster at Dark Side of the Lune on . Sophie Lancaster Tribute Night, Saturday 15th March, The Phoenix Club, Phoenix Street, Lancaster. All Proceeds To The Sophie Fund. Check out her myspace page link on the left and donate money or some time. Take a look at this touching footage of an interview with Sophie's mother:

But the point is the problem still goes on and it is not an isolated incident. The latest casualty from an attack last weeked is a Goth attacked in Belfast. He is still in a bad way TEENAGER STILL CRITICAL AFTER BRIDGE FALL.

As the Observer article said that Sophie's death "received just a fraction of the coverage garnered by the dog-led goths tells you something about society." This is something highlighted here in our examination of the media attention across the world paid to the the Goth Bus discrimination saga. This prejudice is in fact no joke - goths living in the same town as that couple have been literally chased off the streets as more serious local reporting reveals: Goth Bus Couple - The local perspective. Why was no similar media attention paid to the story of the 12 year old Blackburn emo kid surrounded, attacked and humiliated by a gang which was reported only a week earlier? Or the conviction of a criminal in Devon who severely beat a goth because of how he dressed? Or from longer ago the similar events in Burnley? Or North Wales? Or any of the other incidents such the ongoing problems facing skaters and others. How can someone who seems to advocate Goth battering (whether in a jokey way or not) be given major publicity in a Liverpool City of Culture event when alternative people across the North West face abuse and attack? Is Britain become more intolerant of any kind of difference and is this a result of a growing trend of mindless youth violence?

These questions need answering.

Think about signing the petition against subcultural hate crime if you have not already now other 2500 signatures including some MEP/MPs. Epetition at Downing Street

Write to your MP ask them what is being done about this problem.

Goths and punks protest a gay hate crime - the killing of Lawrence King in California

Punks and goths joined in a 1000 strong march yesterday to commemorate the death of 15 year old Lawrence King who liked on occasion to wear makeup and feminine clothing and recently said he was gay. He was shot on Tuesday Febuary 12th in school in Los Angeles and died in intensive care a day later.

1,000 march in Oxnard in tribute to slain teen

A march organized by students focuses on tolerance in the wake of the fatal shooting of an openly gay boy.
By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 17, 2008
The Goths in their black T-shirts were there. So were the punks with fluorescent hair and multiple piercings.

There were even a few adolescent boys carrying skateboards among the nearly 1,000 Oxnard youth and other supporters who turned out Saturday for a hastily organized peace march to pay tribute to Lawrence King, 15, the Oxnard student shot to death in a classroom last week. Larry, Larry, Larry!" the crowd chanted before marchers clasped hands in a moment of silence for the fallen student.

There were no bullhorns, no speeches and no politicians. Just a mass of mostly adolescents wearing bright clothing, carrying signs and singing John Lennon's "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance."

The size of the turnout surprised police, school officials and even the two Hueneme High School sophomores who put the event together just three days ago, spreading the word with fliers, cellphone calls and MySpace bulletins.

"We were expecting maybe 100 or 200 people," said Courtney LaForest, 16, as she gazed at a broad "peace circle" formed by march participants at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. "This is incredible."

Courtney said the turnout reflected a community's anguish over a senseless shooting that has destroyed the lives of two young men. It was also a public plea for tolerance on school campuses for those who are different, she said.

"I didn't know Larry. A lot of people here didn't know him," she said. "We are saying you don't need to accept people who are gay, but you should tolerate them."

King, an eighth-grader at E.O. Green Junior High School in south Oxnard, had revealed he was gay this school year. In recent weeks, he had begun accessorizing his school uniform with feminine items and was often teased by other students, several of his classmates said.

"What he did was really brave -- to wear makeup and high-heeled boots," said Erin Mings, 12, who hung out with King at the school. "Every corner he turned around, people were saying, 'Oh, my god, he's wearing makeup today.' " Erin said King was an outgoing and funny boy who stood his ground.

"When people came up and started punking him, he just stood up for himself," Erin said. Jeremiah, another student and friend of the victim, said King had recently told the 14-year-old boy who is alleged to have shot him that he had a crush on him.

"I see no point in shooting someone for telling them that you like them," said Jeremiah, who didn't want to give his last name.

Brandon McInerney, 14, who attended E.O. Green with King, has been charged with premeditated murder and will be tried as an adult. He is being held in Ventura County Juvenile Hall in lieu of $770,000 bail. McInerney could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors added a hate crime allegation that could bring an additional one to three years.

Saturday's march began at Carty Park, adjacent to the junior high school where the shooting took place Tuesday. Students busily scribbled signs on poster boards, with such messages as "RIP Larry King," "Gay Pride" and "Support Love and Tolerance."

Melissa Crutcher, 16, who helped organize the march, said King's slaying infuriated her. Sporting pink-tinged hair, hot pink pants and multiple ear piercings, Melissa said she knew what it was like to get picked on for looking different. "I know I stick out myself," she said. "And it's just appalling that just for being himself he got shot."

Jerry Dannenberg, superintendent of the Hueneme School District, of which E.O. Green is a part, joined the marchers. He had been told that an event was being planned by students and sent word that the school should support it, Dannenberg said.

"We forget the goodness that is in most of our kids," Dannenberg said. "This tremendous turnout by kids is an expression of their voices, their opinions." Connor Sipes, 13, showed up with two of his buddies. They attend a different middle school, Connor said, but learned about the march through a posting on MySpace.

Connor wore a headband and a gold peace sign around his neck as the three boys walked the two miles from the school to the city park. He participated because what happened to King "wasn't right," he said. "It will be a better future if we are more tolerant."

Oxnard student declared brain dead
Febuary 14th, 2008