Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Posts Tagged ‘Teacher

A Mother Responds in Teacher Bias Case

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“I am the mother of the student in this situation. In speaking with the principal Monday, he did indeed state that he supported the teachers position simply because she stated that the topics were up to her discretion. I told him outright that I thought it was BS that she could give an assignment to choose a controversial issue and then refuse to grade it because she didn’t like the topic. She told me she was against gay marriage, told the principal she was for it and then told my daughter she was against it. She is a complete liar and should in no way be trusted with our young minds. Last night I left a message with Congressman Boren regarding this situation and told him an investigation into this was necessary. I (we) have plans to take this as far as we can to see that the right thing is done. We are considering moving so that we don’t have to continue living in such a bigoted community. All your support just reinforces her decision to take a failing grade not just on her report but for the quarter/semester. She would rather fail doing what she feels is right instead of bowing down to the system. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated!”

That was left as a comment on the blog entry pertaining to the school’s decision to stand by Gale Applegate’s bias decision.  Khyrstal has decided to fight the system for what she believes in.  I, for one, applaud her.  She was very brave to choose the topic she chose to write about in the first place.  Now, in the face of adversity, she’s opted to stick to her guns and fight when it would’ve been so much easier for her to buckle under the pressure and write about something more…pedestrian.

In an unintended response to the mother’s question of how to proceed in this battle, it was suggested that they take this to the ACLU.  Marvelous idea.  And, she’s already contacted her Congressman.  Anyone who reads this and has legal knowledge and expertise in such matters, please feel free to advise her.

This is a case of blatant, in-your-face bigotry and intolerance no matter how they try to dress it up.  If a student is only allowed to expand their thoughts to the limits of the box in which the teacher resides, (s)he eventually attain the same myopic views of the teacher.  And, the cycle is perpetuated.

There is truly power in numbers!  Emboldened by our enormous response to Khyrstal’s plight, she and her family has chosen to fight for what’s right.  In response, we need to continue to show them our unfailing support.  Our message must be very loud and unmistakably clear:  Eufaura High School’s policy that allows for teacher, and apparently administrator bias and intolerance in fact will not be tolerated or accepted.  Zero tolerance means just that.

And, to the mother, as you read this, I strongly encourage you to click the comments link and read those, as well.  There will, quite possibly, be answers to your question there.  In addition to the comments left on this blog, you’ll want to check a few facebook pages’ comments to this story as well.  There has been many comments already posted.  Hopefully, in response to your plea for assistance, there will be many, many more.

Pages where this article has been placed:

Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook 

STOP Teenage Suicide 

Bisexuality Is Real – It Exists

Support Gay Marriage Across America

It’s OK to be Different

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The tide is changing.  I just read a remarkably refreshing story written by a first-grade school teacher.  She tells a story of how she deals with gender-variance issues in her classroom.  In the first-grade!


She was presented with an issue that needed to be addressed in order to a.) bring comfort to a student who was struggling with gender-based issues.  That’s right, in the first-grade!  And, b.) create an environment where her students wouldn’t follow the path of bullying because of perceived differences.  It’s a brilliant story.  I don’t want to say anything more about it.  I’ve provided a link to it.  Read it for yourself.


Teaching that it is ok to be different when it comes to gender-variation to first-grade students will certainly bring the ire “certain people”.  But, it’s those “certain people” who helps create the environment that tells kids that it’s ok to show intolerance and even hatred to people who are “different”.  Especially when it comes to sexuality.  I can just hear it now:  “they’re trying to recruit our children!”  The first time I heard that nonsense, many years ago, I laughed until I nearly peed on myself!  That’s insanity in its purest form.


Children that young may not be ready to identify themselves as gay, straight, or lesbian.  Nor should they be expected to.  However, children that young DO know that there’s “something different” about them.  To a person, every one of my LGBT friends knew at a very young age that they were “different”.  I did.  And, I acted on it for the very first time when I was in the first grade.  So, if they are aware enough to know that they have feelings that are different than the perceived norm, shouldn’t it make sense to teach them in a way that makes them feel good about themselves.  Doesn’t it make sense to foster a sense of self-confidence in the while they’re still very young as opposed to teaching them that they’re deviant or that they need help?


I think the choice is clear:  1.) we can continue teaching that people who are “different” are to be treated as such.  And, in the process, we’re teaching the “different” children that they are inferior or defective.  That they don’t fit.  That they need to be “fixed”.  And, in that same process, we’re also teaching the kids who are NOT different, the “normal” kids, that it’s alright to treat the “different” kids harshly.  After all, they deserve it.  They’re freaks.  Make no mistake:  this battle has been fought many times throughout history.  Slaves were “different”.  Jews were “different”.  Blacks were “different”.  Women were “different”.  And, throughout history, members from each of those groups were harassed, beaten, and even killed.  Or, they killed themselves.


The second option makes much more sense.  We can follow Melissa Bollow Tempel’s example by teaching them at a very early age that it’s ok to be different, that you really DON’T have to fit into “the box”.  Following her lead fosters self-confidence.  It builds self-confidence.  It takes away the potential future bully’s most consistent tool:  the perception that their targeted victim is “different” from them.


Teaching acceptance on all levels to a first-grader is simply brilliant.  It certainly worked in Melissa Bollow Tempel’s  first-grade class…  She’s making a difference.  If we had more people like Melissa in this world, we’d be seeing much less incidences of bullying which means far fewer incidences of teen suicide.  And, that’s our goal.

Written by Ron Kemp

December 21, 2011 at 7:16 am

Taking Steps to Prevent Bullying

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Bullying has been identified as one of the major contributors to gay teen and teen (in general) suicide.  Certainly, the latest rash of teen and gay teen suicides have named bullying as such.  So, maybe the issue is to catch the situation before it becomes an irreversible issue.  Do YOU know what to look for?  Would you know how to identify if your son or daughter is being bullied?  My next several entries will be providing very valuable information on how to recognize the signs before it’s too late.The Bullying Report is a 44-page free downloadable book full of good information.  Get yours now!!

And You Thought It Was Just a Kid’s Thing!

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It’s horrific enough that you have to be concerned about your son or daughter being bullied at school by their classmates.  We’ve already seen the damage that causes, and we are very well aware that it oft times is the major contributor to teen suicides.  And, we as adults have been preaching that they should report these bullying instances to their teachers and/or school administrators immediately.  Well, as I’m sure many of you saw just yesterday, it isn’t JUST the kids who are doing the bullying as a teacher in New Jersey was caught on video verbally abusing (bullying) a special needs student.  That’s unacceptable, right?  Of course it is, and we should be outraged.  But, if you think this is an isolated case…an anomoly, THINK AGAIN!!  See, this atmosphere of intolerance isn’t a kid’s thing; it’s handed down to them from the very people who are entrusted to mold them into upstanding citizens.  It’s taught in churches, in the homes and, as is evident here, in the schools.  If it’s true that the young minds are like sponges, and it is, then why are we so careless as to what they’re “soaking up”?