I just came from a fantastic forum on school bullying, it was an open and frank discussion on bullying aim at LGBT youth…
A COMMUNITY FORUM WORKING TOWARDS TOLERANCE AND ACCEPTANCE OF LGBT YOUTH IN OUR SCHOOLS
WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN THE CAUSE?
• 30% of youth who commit suicide are gay and lesbian. THIS COULD BE YOUR CHILD
• Many youth keep their sexuality a secret so if your child is gay, lesbian or bisexual, you may not even know it and he/she may be suffering. THIS COULD BE YOUR CHILD.
• Your child does not even need to be gay or lesbian, bisexual or transsexual to be violently targeted. All there needs to be is a perception that he/she is one of the former.
• 53% of students report hearing homophobic remarks by school staff
• 97% of students in public high schools report hearing homophobic remarks from their peers
Are these the morals you want your children to grow up with?
The forum was attended by teachers, students, school social workers, GSA faculty advisor, UConn School of Social Work staff and activists.
I came away with a clearer understanding on how bullying affects everyone, how the key to ending bullying is to bring about a change in culture that must begin at the top. Not just the teachers or the school administrators, but in the community, in the churches, and in the families. Having a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) is a step in the right direction, but there has to be a zero tolerance on name-calling, calling a person a faggot or using the expression “That so gay.” Churches have to tone down their inflammatory rhetoric. Families cannot throw their sons or daughters out in the street because they are gay, lesbian or transgender.
There was a ten-year girl there who told how she was bullied because her mom is a lesbian and that the school administrators did nothing about it. She told how she organized a group of other children to bring about change in her school.