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Back in Black

The goth culture is in for a dark time at Arvada West High School.

But Hartman and Blanchett say the administration has been cracking down on their clothing.

The school district has made no secret of its ban on trench coats, which Harris and Klebold reportedly were wearing during their April 20 rampage, but Blanchett says there is also a new, unwritten dress code.

Last year Blanchett frequently wore two of her favorite T-shirts to school without any trouble: One, which reads "Love Sucks," bears the image of a vampire sucking someone's arm; the other touts Marilyn Manson's "Mechanical Animals" album. When she wore the shirts this year, Blanchett says she was told by teachers and administrators not to wear them again because they are offensive.

They've got the look: Arvada West students Mercedes and Heather Hartman just want to fit in.
Brett Amole
They've got the look: Arvada West students Mercedes and Heather Hartman just want to fit in.

Blanchett doesn't see how her T-shirts pose any harm, but she says she has grown accustomed to her freedoms being squashed at Arvada West, where, as at Columbine, the jocks still reign.

Last year some of the goth students tried to get a group photo included in the yearbook, but Hartman says the yearbook staff, which is made up mostly of athletes, ignored their request. Some of her friends have recently joined the yearbook staff and hope to get a photo in this year.

Blanchett says she hoped people would have learned something from the Columbine shootings, but she's resigned herself to the fact that she'll always be looked at differently. "The way other kids treat me is still the same," she says. "It will never change."

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