Monthly Archives: September 2010

Focus on the Violence

While some folks in Colorado keep paying the rent by damning LGBTQ people to hell and arguing that safe schools policies are all part of the secret ‘gay agenda’ children are dying (Asher Brown, Justin Anderson, Billy Lucas and so many others ). 

These kid’s spirits have been broken by living in a war zone where children are harassed and assaulted on a regular basis for not being masculine or feminine enough or for seeming ‘gay.’   And on the other side of the coin children are getting arrested simply for enforcing what some on the Religious Right claim as a moral or religious code against LGBTQ people.  These kids are simply using their words AND their fists to tell perceived LGBTQ youth they do no belong. 

Just this fall a sixth grader in Ohio was jumped, beaten and had his arm broken by two classmates who couldn’t stand the thought of him joining the cheerleading squad. Over the course of a few weeks of school they went from harassing him and calling him “queer” to chasing him down, beating him and breaking his arm.
Game On: Male Cheerleader Refuses to Quit Despite Attack

Now Tyler’s in a cast and his classmates have established criminal records. 

So I guess it’s time to fess up to the ‘gay agenda’ – yep there is one and here it is.
This Has Got to Stop. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has just released an educational film titled Bullied.    They are making this film FREE to all schools.  It is a short documentary about homophobia and bullying.  It takes a close look at how violent this situation is in our schools.  Sadly the case they use as the example took place years ago and could have happened last week.

Dan Savage has offered suicidal LGBTQ youth hope with his new YouTube site It Gets Better

Shoot even the cheerleaders are getting involved.  Here’s the UT male cheerleading squad’s response to Tyler’s attack

Cyndi Lauper is onboard with her Give a Damn campaign.

I’ll do my part.  The time for change is now.

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More political fights to block anti-bullying policies that would protect LGBTQ youth

This just in:
A group of politicians in Minnesota are playing political games with an anti-bullying policy.

The linked news story above tells the tragic tale of three recent suicides of gay youth in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.   And it seems that some members of the MN G.O.P. and a few religious community groups are advocating against a Safe Schools policy that has proven in other districts to reduce violence and save lives.   And this is simply to avoid affirming the lives of LGBTQ youth.

There is a great deal of evidence that violence experienced by ALL KIDS goes down in schools with “Safe Schools” anti-bullying policies that address the specific hate language (racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc.) of bullying and harassment.

And it appears from some of the discussion within the article that there are those who live in Minnesota who say there’s really no big problem with homophobia in the schools and a general – “golden rule” – policy is better than naming target groups. For anyone who doesn’t know the statistics of homophobic harassment in schools across the U.S. (9 of 10 LGBTQ youth are harassed at school on a regular basis) I think this little anecdote from the news article is pretty telling:

In 2009, Anoka-Hennepin settled with a student after the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found evidence that two teachers conspired to harass a student they thought was gay. He wasn’t (as if that matters at all), but it cost the district $25,000, not an insignificant sum considering the declining revenues in many districts.

This is a bizarre climate in which teachers feel entitled to gay bait and harass students based upon their gender presentation or presumed sexual orientation.  And it is not markedly different from the climate across the country.

And so, according to the article, the education community of Minnesota would like to make school less tolerant of hate across the board, thus the proposed safe schools policy:

Sexual orientation is one of fourteen characteristics that are covered by the bill, which also includes race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical characteristics, or “association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.”

Doesn’t that seem like something any elected official should get behind. I mean in a democracy elected representatives are supposed to represent everyone in the community – everyone.

And this shameless political ploy to appeal to homophobic folks who want to preserve their religious right to smear the qu*!*s while at school is just about as morally wrong as it can be.   There’s a body count here to be accounted for here, and it goes far beyond these three suicides.  I sure hope Minnesota, and the U.S. Congress can get behind a uniform message that hate, harassment, and bias are not the cultural values we want to pass along to future generations.

* And as for the ironic mug image above – I take it as a compliment 🙂

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Anti-Bullying Initiatives and “Conservative Christians”

School is back in session and I’m finally getting back to the old writing.
The federal initiative to hold schools accountable for addressing all forms of bullying (The Safe Schools Improvement Act) is moving through congress. And F0cus on the Family is concerned with the reverse discrimination Christian children will feel when they are not allowed to smear the q*!!rs.

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