by Meka Beresford – Pink News
A school has faced backlash after it put censors over the artwork of a GCSE student because it showed lesbian lovers kissing.
Laurence Jackson School in Guisborough, just outside of Middlesborough, placed seven censor stickers on the artwork which celebrated same-sex love.
Officials at the school claimed that they covered the “sexually explicit” art in order to avoid “upsetting” younger students.
However, the artist, Megan Angus, said that the decision to censor her art was nothing less than “homophobic”.
The 16-year-old explained that she realised the work had been censored after she went to pick it up this week after leaving it with the school when she finished last year.
The Pride flag breaks up the piece which Angus said she was inspired to create as her briefing called for an exploration of “outsiders”.
She said: “We had to do an ‘outsider’ piece and had five options.
“I did same-sex relationships as they seem to be out of place in society.
The former secondary school student, who now works as a lifeguard in a local pool, spent 40 hours on the piece and could not understand the school’s motivation to censor it.
“I can’t see why they censored it. When you got to an art gallery, they don’t censor them there,” Angus added.
She added that the stickers were stuck down with glue so she could not remove the censors without ruining the painting.
A spokesperson for the school has since admitted that the move may have been “overzealous” but that any “sexually explicit” images would have been censored regardless of the underlying messages of the work.
They also said that the censor stickers were stuck down with blu-tack, not glue.
“As a secondary school, we needed to be mindful of the impact this may have on younger students.
“This piece of artwork contributed positively to the student achieving a good grade at GCSE.
They added that the school was not homophobic and apologised for giving that impression.
“Laurence Jackson School is in no way homophobic; sexually explicit images of any nature would have been censored if displayed.