Wednesday, November 19, 2003


November 16, 2003 -- Two Maryland high school girls who locked lips in school to protest homophobia are paying a big price: two-day suspensions. Senior Katherine Pecore and junior Stephanie Haaser staged their kiss in the middle of lunch at River Hill HS in Clarksville over a week ago. "It wasn't an affection thing. It was really just a statement," said Pecore, 17.

Haaser's English teacher had asked his students to perform a "nonconformist act" as part of a section on Transcendentalist authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Most students opted for little indiscretions - eating cereal at lunch, for example, or calling teachers by their first names. But Haaser, 17, cooked up something bigger.

The two girls climbed on top of a lunch table and shouted, "End homophobia now!" Then the girls, both of whom describe themselves as heterosexual, made out. Estimates for the length of the kiss range from 10 to 15 seconds. "It was full on," Pecore said. "It was intense."

There was stunned silence in the crowded cafeteria at first. But soon staff and students at River Hill could talk about little else. Both girls, who are top students, were quickly suspended.

You can email the guy who suspended them, Scott Pfeifer at He claims "There is no policy against kissing in the cafeteria. I'm confident I made the right decision. Anybody who would stand up and do a disruptive act, I would treat them the same way." The fact that it happened to be two girls "is totally meaningless to me." From

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