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High school article causes huge controversy

"Homosexuality. One word that can stir so many different emotions." These words were written by Northview High School's newspaper staff as an introduction to a collection of opinion pieces.

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - "Homosexuality. One word that can stir so many different emotions."

These words were written by Northview High School's newspaper staff as an introduction to a collection of opinion pieces called: "A Deeper Look Into Homosexuality."

WTOL 11 received emails and calls from students, alumni and parents concerned about the editorial. School officials said the paper regularly runs editorials, but nothing has ever caught as much attention as the article published Tuesday.

"I think it's a big deal right now," said Angelica Barboza, a future Southview High School student. "Every [Facebook] post was about this newspaper."

One guest columnist wrote, "I don't hate the person that has made this choice to give into their desires, but I hate the choice and I hate the sin."

"Being straight is the correct and normal way to live," wrote another student.

Other students countered the arguments, like one anonymous student who pleaded, "Don't make high school horrible for people who are gay."

Some, like Sylvania parent Bobbi Clark, worry the editorial could have opened the door for bullying.

"It's sad to see that a school would allow something like this to be printed in a newspaper," Clark said. "It's wrong."

One of several emails sent to WTOL 11 said: "After the school day ended, there were two girls crying outside by the bus because they were ashamed and scared to be lesbians."

Steve Swaggerty, Northview's principal, said that was a worry. "My concern right now is for the kids that are hurting because of the topic."

Students can take the newspaper class for credit. Swaggerty said it allows teenagers to experiment with journalism and learn about free speech. Some supporters said that was all these opinion pieces were, an expression of a constitutional right.

Swaggerty said he has not made up his mind about whether the article should have been published in a school setting.

"Anything that goes on within these walls that can cause a safety concern for our kids or make them feel less welcome, I have reservations about that," he said.

Swaggerty said administration is still figuring out what the school's next step will be, "but we are going to take some steps to make it right."