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Posts Tagged ‘American Civil Liberties Union

Help LGBT Students Get Their Voices Heard

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This is a prime example of the emotional abuse LGBT students are forced to endure from adults.  The Gwinnett County, Georgia school system has banned LGBT students from accessing LGBT-friendly websites.  “It Gets Better”?  Forget about it.  “Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook”?  Not on your life.  Instead, the “lgbt” websites that are made available to them are sites that promise to “turn [them] straight”.  There should be a site where the administrators can go to turn themselves smart.

What they are saying is that it’s ok to batter the self-esteem and confidence of a young LGBT person, but it’s not ok for them to be able to go to sites that will help make them feel better about themselves or like they belong.  That’s bullying on an adult level.  On a deeper level, this tells them that they are defective, that their feelings are not authentic, that they can be “fixed” with the right therapy or information.  I’m guessing they didn’t catch the news that “ex-gay therapy” was a fraud.  A 30-year lie, led by an “ex-gay” who’s now a married (with children) man who openly admits that he still finds himself attracted to men and “still has urges”.  Surprising, huh?

The ACLU has taken Gwinnett County to task over this issue.  Early last year, the ACLU fought the federal government for the right of LGBT students to have access to gay-friendly websites, such as GLSEN.  And, they won.  Apparently, Georgia is exempt from federal rulings.  At this moment in time, I don’t know what the outcome is of their battle against Gwinnett County.  What I do know is that there isn’t time to wait for that decision.  Too many lives are at stake.

There’s a petition on, “Help LGBT Students Get Their Voices Heard”.  It needs to be signed by the thousands.  Gwinnett County needs to understand that they cannot bully our LGBT students.  Like every other student in their care, the LGBT students are to be educated, nurtured, and protected.  Right now, like the LGBT students in Tennessee, they’re being fed to the lions.  We, the concerned citizens, can and must make a difference.

Edmund Padilla Needs Your Prayers

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We’ve heard the old one-step-forward-two-steps-back theory.  Right now, in this first week of 2012, it feels as though we’ve omitted to one-step-forward part of the equation.

Nineteen-year-old Edmund Padilla, of the Phillipines, was scalded by boiling water by his father when he came out as being gay.

This throws everything out the window.  All the talk of educating the adults and parents.  Tossed.  All the talk of “It Gets Better”.  Hurled!  Etched in Edmund’s mind now is “it doesn’t get better”.  He was rejected violently by his own father.  Worse, he’s now been scarred, both emotionally and physically, for life by the very person who created him.

The question has been asked several times this week:  “when will it end”?  My answer has been consistent:  “It will start to change when we stop TALKING about it and start taking action”.

For now, as Edmund lies in  burn unit in the Phillipines, we pray for his recovery.  It’s going to be a long, painful road.

Then, we focus our attention on the monster of a father, drunk or not, who did this to ANY human being, not to mention his very own flesh and blood.  We demand that he is brought to full justice for his actions.

And, last but certainly not least, we understand that this is no easy task.  There truly are sick people in this world, people who would condone this type of violence towards the lgbt community. (remember the failed Michigan bill and the current bill in Tennessee that would SANCTION this type of behavior if passed)  In everything we do, we MUST make it clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.  Not by other teens.  Not by school administrators.  And, certainly not by the parents.  Zero tolerance means just that.

Don’t Drink the Water in Ohio

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It has to be something in the water.  Within a span of 2 months, the Ohio public school system was on the wrong side of a major news story involving young people, bullying, and the school system’s inability to do anything about it.  Or, was it a lack of caring?

On October 17th, openly gay teenage student Zach Huston was brutally attacked while the whole episode was caught on a cellphone video camera.  If you haven’t seen it, do so.  It’s beyond bullying, actually.  It’s a clear-cut case of premeditated first-degree assault.  And, as a punishment, the perpetrator received a 3-day suspension.  Unbelievable!

The silver lining of the incident is that a.) the video quickly went viral on youtube (exposing to the world Union-Scioto High School officials’ inability to protect their students); and, b.) the ACLU has taken this case and is pushing to have the perpetrator brought up on hate-crime charges.  While they’re at it, they should charge the person who filmed it, since they obviously knew what was about to transpire, as well as the school administrators who told young Zach, when he complained repeatedly to them about the bullying and abuse, that “boys will be boys”.  Really?  Is that the best you can offer your students?

Then, on November 28th, Brittany Tucker ended up in ICU after enduring far too much bullying.  She, too, had gone to the school officials.  They didn’t respond.  Brittany just returned to school this past week, Monday the 12th.  And, the bullying returned, as well.  Again, Brittany went to the school’s administrators.  THEY DIDN’T RESPOND!!  Brittany reached her breaking point and reacted to the bullies.  Brittany was expelled!!  In my blog entry, “URGENT CALL TO ACTION!!”, there are some contacts for every single person who reads this to contact and expose the injustice and inability of Brittany’s school’s administrators to protect her.  Not only did they not protect her, they allowed it to go on so long, she felt no other way out but suicide. (thank God it was a failed attempt)  Not only did they not protect her, they expelled HER for lashing out at the same bullies THEY didn’t address in the first place.

Get those links.  Let your voices be heard…loudly and clearly.  Brittany’s school administrator’s actions were unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  ZERO TOLERANCE!  Oh, and if you ever visit Ohio, don’t drink the water.