Next? You Can’t Say the Word Brain

Saying the word “vagina” during a reading at a Westchester County, New York, high school open mic session has resulted in one-day suspensions for three female students, Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson.

School administrators had warned the girls it would be inappropriate to say the word while reading a selection from Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” but the students were willing to suffer the consequences. “When I was able to say the word ‘vagina’ and be proud to say it… and it wasn’t crude and it wasn’t inappropriate and it was very real and very pure, it was important to me,” Reback said. “We were willing and ready to take whatever came.”

School board President Peter Breslin said the decision to suspend the students was not about censorship, but rather about insubordination. He said school administrators had been concerned about the use of the word because young children would be at the open mic session, and the girls had agreed not to say it.

From the Westchester Journal News,
March 6, 2007

The school administration, after public furor, rescinded the suspension several days later.