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Principal Reconsiders Permission Slips for Gay Couples

A principal who wants gay couples to get permission slips from their parents before they can attend school dances promised to re-evaluate the policy after protesters held four days of protests.

Copper Hills High School Principal Tom Worlton (search) issued the policy last month but agreed to revisit it Friday. He said he saw the policy as a way to alert the parents to the dangers their children might face.

Jason Atwood, 17, his boyfriend, Tom Tolman, 15, who attends another school, and small circle of friends held protests across the street from the suburban Salt Lake City (search) school before they met with Worlton. The protesters said they were subjected to insults, obscene gestures, egg throwing and snowballs from passing cars during the four days.

"I'm so proud of you," Tolman's mother, Patricia Gilley, said after dropping him off. "You can't help who you love."

Atwood's father, Quovaudis Atwood, said he feared Worlton's policy would absolve the school of responsibility if anything were to happen to his son.

"I'm not at the dance with Jason. ... How could I be responsible for my son?" he said. "As long as I'm paying taxes to support that school, my son deserves every bit of protection, education, whatever that school has to offer."

Worlton said the policy stemmed from students' concerns about potential harassment. "That was not an attempt to get out of liability and not a response to deprive them from coming to the dance," he said.

Worlton said he will make a decision on the policy in time for the prom.