Let Us Be Naked: Teens Stage Nude Sit-In - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/25/06

Let Us Be Naked: Teens Stage Nude Sit-In

Some have appeared naked in a downtown parking lot. Others rode their bicycles or simply strolled the streets in the nude.

Teenagers in the quaint Vermont town of Brattleboro are raising eyebrows this summer with brazen displays of nudity.

So far they haven't been arrested or ticketed: public nudity isn't illegal in the town of 13,000 people, unless it's done to arouse sexual gratification.

Vermont has a live-and-let-live tradition, allowing skinny-dipping and nude sunbathing. Brattleboro, the first permanent English settlement in the state in 1724, is home to a community of writers, artists and musicians as well as transplanted entrepreneurs from Boston and New York.

When the weather grew hot this year, a couple of dozen teens took to holding hula hoop contests, riding bikes and parading past the shops wearing only their birthday suits.

Nobody, including the police, seemed to take offense until one local, Theresa Toney, went before the town government in August to complain about a group of youngsters naked in a parking lot.

"The parking lot is not a strip club," she said. "What about children seeing this?"

Town officials asked their attorney to draft an ordinance to ban such displays for the Select Board to vote on in September. When the teens heard about it, some staged a nude sit-in.

"I don't see why it's such a big deal," said Alec McPherson, a recent high school graduate as he sat at a coffee shop table, browsing a thick volume of artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Everyone's naked in this book."

His companion, Jeremiah Compton, a high school junior who plays in a local metal-and-punk band, agreed. "It's just that we're bored and expressing our right," he said.

"We have a nuclear power plant a few miles away and a ridiculous war in the Middle East, countries getting bombed," said Ian Bigelow, a 23-year-old who had gathered with some of his friends outside a bookstore. "So why's it such a big problem if we chose to get nude?"

Source: AP

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