Lesbian Teens Elected H.S. Royalty, Shake Up Pep Fest Plans

By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota’s largest school district may have to fight a discrimination lawsuit over a high school winter pep fest. According to the suit, classmates at Champlin Park High School nominated two lesbian students, Desiree Shelton and Sarah Lindstrom, to the Snow Daze court.

Anoka-Hennepin schools spokeswoman Mary Olson says traditionally the royal court walks into the assembly as male-female couples, but the lesbian couple said they weren’t comfortable with that.

Friday afternoon, Champlin Park school leaders said they canceled this year’s procession, ending a tradition of allowing pairs to walk across the coronation stage.

“The feeling was that this would be more respectful of all students,” said Mary Olson, Anoka-Hennepin’s media director.

The decision was made after a lesbian couple asked to be partnered up during that procession, forcing two straight male students to walk together. Now, gay rights groups and non-profit organizations are stepping in.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit and motion to ensure the event goes on as it has in the past.

Sisters Ashtin and Erin Carter may be ready for this year’s coronation, but you could say they are no longer looking forward to it.

“The only reason I really wanted to be royalty was so I could walk across the stage and have everybody go like, ‘Yay Ashtin,'” said Ashtin Carter, a senior at CPHS.

“I’m mad, cause I want to walk,” said Erin Carter, a junior at CPHS.

“For them to cancel procession, I don’t think that’s the right answer either … and taking the easy way out,” said Teresa Barnes, mother of both Ashtin and Erin Carter, who are both on the Snow Daze court.

Barnes said she doesn’t believe it’s a gay rights issue, considering the events the girls can attend together during Snow Daze week.

“They are still allowed to go to the dance together as a couple. They can be photographed together as a couple,” said Barnes.

The issue has made Snow Daze 2011 one to remember at Champlin Park High. Coronation could now be in the hands of the court system.

Recently, some advocacy groups have linked the district’s policies for homosexual students to bullying and suicides, but the district’s own investigation found the six suicide victims were not bullied.

Coronation is scheduled for Monday, that’s when a judge should make a decision, too.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • TS

    Sounds like the principal is bullying them by not letting them walk together. If they want to walk together they should let them.

    • It's Black and White!

      So, you believe in letting everyone do what they want to do? There can be no such thing as traditions? What kind of world is this that we should let everyone do what it is that they want to do? Hello!!

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  • JamieinMN

    Soon enough, this “issue” will be a thing of the past. Being gay is not a disease, and it most certainly is not contagious. I wish more people could open their heart and their minds and realize that two people just want to love each other. Just like you would want to love your husband or your wife. And they want to do it without being ridiculed.

    • ssellman

      Hi Jamie – and your right!

      • Steve

        The only social problem here is the stupidity of some people who can’t let other people live the life they choose. I am a father, grandfather and great grandfather. I have known a number of gay men and women over the years who are friends. They are intelligent and caring people. There life style is one they choose and should not be an issue for someone else.

      • It's Black and White!

        Let’s just let everyone live any old way they choose! Everybody wants the world to have no boundaries, no rules, just freedom to choose anything. Let’s just let sexual predators abuse (because they choose). Let’s just let people kill and steel and cheat and lie (because they choose). Love between a husband and wife is NOT the same as two people of the same sex trying to reinact that kind of love. You fight creation and you’ll have a mess!

    • Stacy

      Well Said!!

      • Ditto

        I hope this issue seems prehistoric to my children. I do not really see a reason for ignorance and blind hate in the modern world.

  • lookout

    Why was my earlier post taken down? It was just a difference in opinion.

  • john0990

    Someone tell Joe to read a bit more closely. It’s Champlin Park HIgh School in Champlin, MN. The article said nothing about a town called Champlin Park.

    • A. K.

      ^ Likes this.

    • jkr

      John you are correct, but it’s actually in Brooklyn Park, not Champlin. That’s always been the debate since it opened ’92’.

    • DDUBS

      It’s actually in Brookly Park

  • Bradley D Pagel

    It’s high school…they are teenagers….why are we even bringing this up that a high school is catering to teenagers just because they MIGHT know what sexual oreintation they are, they dont even know what they are going to do the rest of thier lives let alone what thier sexual orientation is…

    • M Gustafson

      so…when you were in high school you didn’t know if you wanted to date girls or boys? i sure did. this is not “catering” …this is being aware and sensitive and trying to find creative ways for kids not be victimized or uncomfortable.

    • Samantha

      Really, Brad? So in high school you didn’t know if you were gay or straight?

      Exactly. Your point is ridiculous. Some things we don’t get to choose, they’re just inherently part of who we are. Every person knows whether they’re capable of violence, whether they’re attracted by skinny people or chubby ones, whether they get off on other peoples pain or empathize with it. The idea that we get to choose everything is a myth. Some things we’re just born with.

    • George

      Everyone knows what thier sexual orientation is long before high school.

    • Joc Cochran

      Are you kidding me? Do you think that a person finalizes their sexual orientation on the day they graduate from high school? Unlike hair styles and taste in music, sexual orientation doesn’t change over time.

      • John

        Everyone is born straight and is throughout their life. That is how God created us. Unfortunately we live in a broken world full of sin.. I am a sinner like everyone else but we don’t need to make sins acceptable in our society. There is no shame anymore.

    • tom

      both women are 18, the LEGAL age. Try again bradley.

  • derek

    Weren’t they “elected”… doesn’t that mean they are well liked by the majority. Sounds like the school is more worried about parents, activist and religious groups.

  • nicole

    If anyone would like to see some of the students’ opinions perhaps they should check out the page “You know you go to Champlin Park if….” on facebook.

  • swmnguy

    Excellent. This is how change really happens. Not from the Top Down, or when the elites decide to let us change. As usual, the kids are way out ahead of even the progressive elements of adult society, and light-years ahead of the regressive fear-junkies. And thanks, “Nicole” for the heads-up on the FB page. It really shows the kids of that school in a mature, intelligent, thoughtful light. As I’ve come to expect from the kids in our high schools today.

  • Samantha

    Really, Brad? So in high school you didn’t know if you were gay or straight?

    Exactly. Your point is ridiculous. Some things we don’t get to choose, they’re just inherently part of who we are. Every person knows whether they’re capable of violence, whether they’re attracted by skinny people or chubby ones, whether they get off on other peoples pain or empathize with it. The idea that we get to choose everything is a myth. Some things we’re just born with.

    • Samantha

      Sorry! Reposted above where it should have been.

  • Sunny

    The world is truly upside down. What is wrong is right, what is right is wrong. Our schools, courts, legislators have all caved to the smear tactics of the “gay rights” crowd. When speaking of bullying, they are the pot calling the kettle black ! ! ! !

  • Kevin

    God will not be happy…..another brick in the wall of our sinking society!

    • For Real?

      Couldn’t agree more Kevin – We live in an immoral society and it gets worse by the day! Everyone will have their judgment day and then all the banter, pro or con, will be sorted out.

      • Suzanne

        So just because someone doesn’t fit your idea of what normal is, they are doomed?? And what makes them immoral? How do you know these girls aren’t God-loving, upstanding students? Do you even know anything about them?? Way to be judgemental…thought you wanted to leave that up to God….

    • George

      God created gay people too, Mate! And loves them just as much as anyone else.

  • U2Empl

    Sunny, I agree with your perspective. Based upon the posts on this article, it is not a stretch to see why the vast majority of the Nation laughs at Minnesotans and their chosen leaders. Al Franken…really?? It truly is the state of “feels good, do it”.

    • Joe Cochran

      You either need to move to Oklahoma or accept the prevailing attitudes of the progressive people who actually represent the majority of thinking in this state. And, ahem, if the nation laughs at Minnesota it’s because Michelle Bachman is in congress.

  • topchop

    Its a sad day in the world when HS kids think this is OK. So many sick people not enough room in HELL FOR THEM ALL!!!!!! God is disappointed that we have not stood our ground to rebut their stupidity, and allowed society to fall so far….

    • Lori

      You need to review your lessons. You are casting stones. Didn’t they teach you better?

    • john0990

      Well, topchop, if they’re going to hell, why are you so worried about them. According to you, they’ll get the punishment they “deserve.” I don’t see what the problem is.

    • Beth

      Topchop, God will be disappointed in YOU for casting your negative, SICK judgement.

    • tom

      Hell will be full of christians. The give god a bad rap.

    • Josh

      Topchop: Just because you never had the courage to come out of the closet, doesn’t mean that other people have to stay in.

  • ScienceRules

    Whoever said being gay isn’t a disease was partically correct. There is no gay gene which means it is not biological. Without genetics you cannot be born that way. This is simple science. Something which liberals only use when it suits their needs. This means it is a choice. It can be mentally driven due to the environment but it is absolutely not in the genes. Feeling like you are born that way does not mean it is genetic. It means there is a problem with the brain.

    • Stace34

      So is there a straight gene? Has science proved every animal is straight and choose to be gay? When did you make the “choice” to be straight? If you did not make a choice what would make you think others do.

    • Nolan

      I’m a student at Champlin Park High School and I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Our school teaches us to apparently ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’, and to not discriminate people of any kind. They should own up to their policy and let the couple walk together on Snow Days. It’s extremely hypocritical and disrespectful of our district. I’ve lot a lot of respect for the school board. It’s not like Snow Days is actually a big deal (correction, it’s a joke).

      • Sarah Jayne

        Nolan, I love you. I couldn’t agree more.

      • George

        Nolan, you are right on with that view. Most young folks today, like yourself, are very accepting of their gay classmates. After all, these two people were elected to this position, and it is very hypocritical of the school leaders to not let them march in together like any previous elected students to this position. Adults could learn a thing or two about tolerance and respect from the great students at this school.

    • George

      Lots of members of the Flat-Earth-Society here today! Some folks just aren’t happy unless they are putting down others.

      • Sunny

        Georgie, you are toooo funny. Who has more supporters on this board?? The pro-“gays” or the pro-traditionalsits?

        I also love the lefties who spout “He who casts the first stone…”. They’ve NEVER even cracked the Bible open ! ! So, lefties, you don’t judge people? ? You don’t think rapists should be judged? Murderers shouldn’t be judged? Pedophiles shouldn’t be judged? Robbers shouldn’t be judged?? Your hypocrisy IS OFFENSIVE

    • Joe Cochran

      Where did you get your scientific insights into this topic? I’m guessing one of the following sources: Michelle Bachman’s website; a pamphlet from the Catholic Church; or perhaps you think you heard Rush Limbaugh address the “issue”. Please don’t cite science here because you clearly know nothing about this topic.

    • Josh

      You have a complete misunderstanding of human development. I’d like to know the peer-reviewed meta-study you researched to get your information. Any thinking person knows that sexual orientation is a combination of genetic predisposition coupled with environmental factors. If you’re going to be a bigot, just come out and say it. Don’t fake that you know what you’re talking about. You’re a bigot.

  • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

    Good for them! But can we report on jobs and the economy, this is getting old?

  • Taz

    Why don’t schools just put emphsis on the things schools NEED to do, educate our kids and not try to create islands of special interests. Parents need to raise their kids and if you remember when you were in high school people were elected to all kinds of stuff just to get attention. It is called a prank – not to be considered the norm.

  • Batman

    All I have to say is this……..God says judge no man and he says that no man shall lay with a man like you would with a woman and no woman shall lay with a woman like you would with a man. With that being said its a touchy situation that should not be messed with just let people live their lives that they want to and let them walk together like they want to.

    • sam

      Batman, I would love to see where in the Bible you found those words…please give me the chapter and verse. thank you.

  • Skar

    Ok, I am an alumni of CP. I was once elected to the Snowdaze Royalty as well. What you need to remember is that the SAME amount of guys and girls get elected, the king is supposed to walk with a queen… If two girls walk together, then that means two guys would have to walk together as well! That’s an even MORE uncomfortable situation if you are a male and not gay. This is ridiculous, CP is very good at keeping the school a safe zone, and even has a Gay Straight Alliance Group. Just because you’re gay, doesn’t mean you get to throw the entire tradition through a loop.

    • Nolan

      Tradition? Snow Days is full of cliques and titles. It’s a complete joke.

    • Emily

      Yeah? Were you aware two male nominees stepped up so the girls could walk together? Clearly not…

    • Bridget

      two boys were asked to walk together so that the two girls could, and neither of them had as problem with it. they are both straight but feel comfortable enough with each other and with the cause to do so. It’s not against tradition; they’re a couple and they’re walking together. Just because they’re a GAY couple doesn’t mean they’re breaking tradition. Your comment is ridiculous.

    • Sarah Jayne

      Contrary to how this article is portraying it, the girls asked two boys if they’d be okay with it before even asking administration. I don’t see how them wanting to walk together, when two guys were fine with walking together also, is blowing the tradition any more than the administration cancelling the walk completely.

    • George

      Skar, are you saying that boys should be uncomfortable walking to school or in the halls together? Give me a break? Are you saying the entire football team is uncomfortable walking into the stadium together? And think of the military where hundreds can march in rank together!
      To take your last thought, just because they ARE gay doesn’t mean you get to throw the entire tradition through a loop!

    • http://theworkingclassprojectdotcom.wordpress.com Will Sawyer

      They want to live their life the same as you…..that is not throwing anything in anyones face, it is simply saying they are not second class!

  • Cache

    unbelievable…might as well believe the USA is a land of lost souls!

  • Steve

    This makes me sick! Why doest the “civil rights” group become concerned for teh civil rights of those who do not believe in gay relationships?????? This state makes me ill….

    • George

      Steve, you already have those civil rights. It’s called “live and let live.” That’s what America and this state is all about. There is room enough for everyone.

      • SayWhat!?

        I agree with you Steve!!! This is a mockery!! Now the tax payers in that school district will have to pay a frivolous lawsuit. I’m sick of same sex stuff shoved down our throats. Whatever CONSENTING MATURE ADULTS do in their bedroom, have-at-it. But do not expect it to be considered normal outside the bedroom. Young people are bouncing back and forth from gay to not gay, like it’s normal behavior. Our morals are going down into the toilet. We’ll be able to marry our car, cat or favorite pair of shoes before you know it!!!

    • tom

      you are already ill steve.

  • Joe

    Hey John 0990! The dateline on the original story WAS Champlin Park, MN. Then it went to Champlin MN, now its Minneapolis MN.

    The school actually is in Brooklyn Park.

  • Love:)

    I personal think they should be able to I am a champlin park high schooler myself and I don’t have a problem with them and I have ask around and they say they don’t have a problem.

    • George

      Love, thanks for the comment and insight. Most young people are much more tolerant of others than their parents are. That’s the reason these two students got elected in the first place. Now the school leaders can’t find the courage of their own students to back them up and support them. We adults can learn a great deal from our young people!

      • Love:)

        People are going to be wearing red in support for the 2 girls who got elected.

  • stpaul

    I hope people realize they are likely being elected as a joke in the school.

    • SayWhat!?


    • Sarah Jayne

      Incorrect assumption. These girls are relatively popular and well liked. They deserve those spots.

  • mwern

    No matter what happens in regards to a persons acceptance/tolerance there will always be haters and just because they focus so much on this issue IS NOT going to change small minded People.

    What needs to happen is more Counseling, Support and acceptance of one’s self as opposed to trying to obtain it through others.

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