A group of students at New York's 'Fame' performing arts academy are threatening to boycott a gala honouring veteran musician Peter Yarrow because of his sex conviction.

The Peter, Paul and Mary star pleaded guilty to "taking indecent liberties" with a 14-year-old girl in 1970 and was jailed for three months, but he has since apologised for the incident and was even pardoned by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

The Puff, The Magic Dragon hitmaker is set to be honoured by the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts next month (May14), but news of the planned gala has outraged students.

A message posted on Facebook.com suggests pupils have the choice of opting out of performing for Yarrow, and a dozen students have since confirmed they will not take part.

The planned event has also upset several parents of youngsters at the school - which inspired hit 1980 movie musical Fame - with one telling the New York Post, "Is it even legal for him to be in a school? They have lots of famous alumni who went to that school. Is this really the best choice for someone to honour and be on stage with these children?"

Yarrow is due to receive a Hall of Fame award at the school's Parents Association Gala at the Lincoln Center on 21 May (14), which will be hosted by Al Roker.

In a statement, the musician tells the New York Post, "I hope that my contrition and my efforts to help humanity over the years will allow me a measure of the public's forgiveness."

A spokeswoman for the school's Parents Association adds, "He has taken responsibility for his actions, paid his dues to society, and showed remorse for what happened."