Thursday, May 29, 2008

There's Still The Pain

I happened upon this letter to the editor in The Press of Atlantic City online website the other day from a parent of a gay young adult:

Help gay students
feel safer in school

In the May 19 Education by the Numbers feature, one item mentioned that 33 percent of secondary-school principals say that gay, lesbian and bisexual students would feel safe in their schools. What about the other 67 percent? What are they doing to make their schools safe for all young people?
As a mother of a gay son who just graduated college, I was appalled by that low number. I would be interested in knowing what part of the country this info came from. Were the schools public or private, inner-city schools, small or large-sized schools?
While living in northern New Jersey, my husband and I attended Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays meetings. PFLAG of Bergen County has an excellent safe-schools program and a speakers bureau to educate those who have no idea what this is really all about.
I would hope that more principals would avail their schools of the service so as to better inform their staff and, in turn, their students concerning this extremely important matter.
Egg Harbor Township

Ms. Millard's point: that although 33% of gay students feel safe, what about the other 67%?

Then I read this comment to Ms. Millard's letter and I could hardly believe what I read:

I am appalled there is any special effort to protect young people who decide to come out of the closet in any size or type of school system. School is not about there sexual orientation , it is to learn and move into the real world . If a kid has an abnormal interest in sex partners, they should keep it to themselves until they get out of school.
Posted by: social chemist on Wed May 28, 2008, 9:15 AM

To think that this is 2008! To believe that attitudes like this still exist is beyond me. It makes my blood boil when kids of any kind, gay, straight, black, white, fat, thin, etc. have to go to school fearing their safety. Then a moron like "social chemist" makes a statement such as above!

When are we going to get over discriminating against anyone for any reason? Then today in my mail I received some information about The Trevor Project, an organization based in California, that helps gay teens get through their difficult times. I urge you to check it out.


Merci said...

I agree that school shouldn't be about sexual orientation. The world will be a better place when sexual orientation is a non-issue, so much so that everyone is accepted as they are. No child should ever feel unsafe in school.

mommanator said...

nor any parent afraid to send their child to a public school!

Pax Romano said...

As a former student (and a gay one at that), I know what this is like. For whatever reason, I was not picked on much as a kid - but I saw the other kids (especially the boys who were fey) and it was merciless what these kids were put through. Of course back in my day, the most that would occur was a school yard brawl. Today, the kids could be killed (like what happened to that boy in California a few months back).

I'd like to see a mentoring program for the gay and lesbian kids - older kids could assure them that they are OK.