Monthly Archives: December 2010

Accountability

Back in the fall when Tyler Clementi was being harassed and tormented by his anti-gay roommate, he reported the problem to the resident advisor of his dorm.  The surveillance and harassment continued and increased.  Ultimately Tyler committed suicide temporarily waking the nation to the pervasive homophobia children and young adults must endure in order to attend school.

A year earlier during the 2009-10 school year Seth Walsh came out as gay and was continuously tormented by his homophobic classmates.   Seth’s mother went to the administration expecting them to address the homophobic violence in their school. She was told to remind someone to do something about it in the fall. The harassment continued and increased.  Seth’s suicide note was a testament to the harassment and violence he endured while in middle school.

Now the Clementi family is suing Rutgers for supervising and managing a violently homophobic educational institution.  A move it appears the Rutgers admin was anticipating with stonewalling antics early on.  And federal education officials are investigating Tehachapi Unified School District where employees utterly failed to adequately address the years of bullying that preceded Seth Walsh’s death.

Apparently the Department of Education may be planning to use Tehachapi Unified School District to show that they are feeling a little more serious about pursuing the civil rights of LGBTQ youth.  And there is a clear precedent for the courts to hold Rutgers accountable for hosting and supervising homophobic games and antics as well.

Any school where specific school employees are resigned OR are quite content to supervise communities in which virulent homophobia is the norm, they should be fired.   Any school where administrators lack the clarity to establish and enforce safe and inclusive learning environments, these educational leaders should be immediately be put on a growth plan or removed from supervisory roles. 

What sort of organization condones management claims of ignorance and incompetence as reasonable excuses for not doing your job?   To say, “don’t blame us, we did our best” in either of these cases is utter nonsense.   To me it is absurd for Rutgers or the Tehachapi District to rely upon this indefensible position and I expect they will both attempt to quietly pay for their callous indifference. 

I hope both schools pay dearly.  Attending these schools cost Tyler and Seth their lives.  I can only hope the legal cost to the schools is dramatic enough to shock other schools into proactive education and management around issues of homophobia and gender bias and harassment in schools.

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Seth Walsh’s Story

To be born in a free society and not to be born free is to be born into a lie. To be told by co-citizens and co-Christians that you have no value, no history, have never done anything that is worthy of human respect destroys you because in the beginning you believe it.

 – James Baldwin (1924 -1987)

This is the first holiday season Seth Walsh’s family will spend without their 13-year-old son. 

On September 19, 2010, Seth hanged himself from a plum-tree in the family’s backyard. He was on life support for nine days before he died on September 28.

Here is his mother’s heartbreaking presentation of Seth’s suicide note along with her memories of his life after he came out in the 6th grade.  It is so deplorable and infuriating it should be required watching for every school faculty member.

Story details at Pam’s House Blend

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DREAM Act support from Beaverton School Board

December 13 the Beaverton School Board approved a proclamation supporting the Federal DREAM Act.  According to the Oregonian, “The seven-member board unanimously approved a proclamation in support of the DREAM Act, which would allow children illegally brought to the U.S. and raised here the chance to obtain permanent residency.”   Here is what they had to say in support of the undocumented students of Beaverton:  Continue reading

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Another Columbine Specter

Georgia boy targeted with homophobic harassment arrested for bringing gun to school.

Change.org has a story up right now about a Georgia student who was arrested on December 7th for brining a gun to school.  According to the original news article  a female student reported the gun after she, “heard the boy say he was going to “shoot up the school Columbine style” after other students made derogatory comments about his sexuality.” Continue reading

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Nice

My sister just shared this Kate Perry video with me.  Yea Kate and her managers have played every game marketable related to the gay community.   
But this video has some really powerful images. Continue reading

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News updates on schooling homophobia from across blogland

I don’t have time to post but I always have time to read… so I’ll pass along some good readin’ to ya today. Continue reading

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Family Legacy

Judge Monica Marquez and Retired Judge Jose D.L. Marquez

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Retired Colorado Court of Appeals Justice Jose D.L. Marquez swore in his daughter Monica Marquez to the Colorado Supreme Court on December 10, 2010.

The story of Deputy Attorney General Monica Marquez pending appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court was first made known to me by my parents who reside in  Colorado.  Continue reading

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