Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Student Non-Discrimination Act is introduced to Congress

Washington, Jan 27 – Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), a leading proponent of equality in education, today introduced historic legislation—H. R. 4350, the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA)—that would protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) students by establishing a comprehensive Federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and provide victims with meaningful and effective remedies.

Here is the ACLU’s press release about SNDA.

And here is Polis’ summary of the protections this act could offer LGBTQ youth:

What could the “Student Non-Discrimination Act” do?

  • The “Student Non-Discrimination Act” (SNDA) would establish a comprehensive Federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • SNDA would provide protections for LGBT students and ensure that all students have access to public education in a safe environment free from discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence.
  • SNDA would also provide meaningful and effective remedies (loss of federal funding and legal cause of action for victims) for discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, modeled after Title IX.
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Filed under Gender, Gender Identity, Heterosexism, Homophobia, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Orientation, Uncategorized

Why take down the “Anti-Hate” banners at school?

Bet you can guess the reason: They were sponsored in part by a gay and lesbian organization.

One of the sponsors listed on the banner is the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. Wheatland board members and parents took issue with that, according to the district.

I mean we need to think seriously about who it’s not okay to hate amiright?!

Hat Tip to the Southern Poverty Law Center  who caught this news nugget and provide a link to the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate Campaign.

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Filed under Censorship, Curriculum Wars, Family Values, Harassment / Bias, Heterosexism, Homophobia, School Violence, Sexual Orientation, Uncategorized

In bullying news this week…

Students participate in a candlelight vigil at South Hadley High School Friday for freshman Phoebe Prince, who was found dead at her home on Thursday afternoon.

This weeks news tell of a nine-year old boy and a fifteen-year-old girl who both committed suicide in January. 
Both stories are sprinkeled with references to bullying. Continue reading

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Filed under Bully, Gender, Harassment / Bias, Heterosexism, Misogyny, School Violence, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Orientation

Have you read PUSH?

It is an amazing book and Precious is an amazing girl to know. I read this book about 10 years ago and I can tell you Push is a novel you wont forget. In this book, Sapphire gives Precious a powerful voice and asks her to tell her own story of poverty, abuse, sexual assault, pregnancy, and utter isolation. This is a voice seldom heard and generally treated with much less love and care.

The film version is now winning awards and I was touched to hear this moment in Mo’Niques acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.

I celebrate this award with all the Preciouses with all the Marys.
I celebrate this award with every person that’s ever been touched.
It’s now time to tell.
And it’s okay.

The most recent government data indicates that for the year of 2007 approximately 5.8 million children were potentially subjected to abusive situations here in the United States. And what is more that 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. But these are merely numbers to represent invisible and isolated lives. Only a novel like Push and a film like Precious can expose the humanity of a child victim, the pain, the hopes, and the day-to-day living that goes on for many many children despite growing up under inhumane conditions.

The silent fear, shame and isolation of abuse victims is broken open each time a novel or a movie or a public figure shares a story of surviving abuse and finding a way out. That’s why Mo’Niques final statement at the Golden Globes really touched my heart.

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Filed under Child abuse, Misogyny, Poverty, Uncategorized

Oregon and ‘diversity’

About 44 percent of Salem-Keizer students are of minority decent — and 27 schools are “minority majority,” where more than 50 percent of students are of minority decent. 

From a short article on a diversity in service training day in Salem-Keizer that took place on MLK.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Homophobic violence and Title IX

A fourteen year old boy was assaulted, harassed, and humiliated for two years while school faculty looked on and did little to nothing to protect him. This is not a particularly original set of circumstances.  However this is adds a new twist to this situation:
Continue reading

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Filed under Gender, Gender Identity, Heterosexism, Homophobia, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Orientation, Uncategorized

Limiting Disability Accomidations: Oregon

Hillsboro School District says no to a service dog as an accommodation for a student with autism:

“We agree that across-the-board exclusion of a service animal would not be appropriate.” But, he said, “If we have a student that is doing well in school, is there a need for a service animal?”

Hillsboro Superintendent Mike Scott explains why the district will not allow third grader Scooter Givens to bring his therapy dog Madison to school.  Scooter’s autism has made life in social settings very difficult for him and Madison has become a social bridge for the boy, who can talk but doesn’t like to interact with others, said Wendy Givens. Continue reading

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Filed under Accomidations, Disability, Special Education