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Gay Students Suing School Over Neutrality Policy

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posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:40 AM
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The earlier suit alleges that students endured slurs, getting stabbed with pencils, pushed into walls, shoved into lockers, and even being urinated on by classmates because of real or perceived sexual orientation. It claims that district and school officials' response to such harassment was "grossly inadequate," and that administrators told the students in some cases to "lay low," "ignore" the harassment, and "stay out of people's way." District officials have countered that they have anti-bullying policies in place that address such issues.



Both suits target the district's "neutrality" policy, which allows teachers to discuss sexual orientation issues in the classroom, but requires them to maintain a "neutral" stance on those issues.


First of all if these students were actually being stabbed with pencils and urinated on something very clearly needs to change at this school. That is taking it beyond 'kids just being kids' and stepping into some pretty serious stuff. No one should have to fear going to school unless there is a test or public speaking assignment the next day. I'm going to reserve judgement against the school until more info presents itself.

I have very mixed feelings on this neutrality issue. While I have no problem with homosexuals it is a fact that many people do. I can see parents causing a massive poo storm if their little precious has a teacher who tells them Mommy and Daddy are wrong. On the flip side, not teaching the students to be tolerant of classmates is doing them a great disservice. In the real world you may have to *gasp* work with someone who is a homosexual and in that real world you will get real jail time if you urinate on someone or stab them with pencils. You will almost surely be fired if you start shouting out gay slurs.

So how should teachers and other faculty be handling this discussion? Should they allow students to discuss this in the classroom? It seems either way he gay students sort of lose. Allow open discussion, gay kids get mocked. Don't allow it and it's sweeping that child's identity under the rug.

So ATS, what possible solutions do you see? Try to keep everyone happy.


Source

edit on 15-8-2011 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:43 AM
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If they had anti-bullying policies in place then it sounds like the staff was intentionally not enforcing against the bullies. Those offenses should carry not only expulsion, but a hate crime charge too.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:48 AM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 


While I agree that this level of bullying should more rightly be called assault, I will never be a fan of hate crime laws. In my eyes you should not be given extra punishment because of the motive of the crime, only the act.

If kids did actually stab these students with pencils, hit them or even torment them I agree, they should be expelled. Criminal charges filed with the police too if it ever got physical.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 02:21 AM
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Uh... IMO if you think whipping your dick out and pissing on someone means your straight..... I worry for you.
Such a sad place we live in where people are alienated based on such things as sexual orientation. I myself am straight, but.... that doesn't mean I or anyone else should bully people unlike us. I am ashamed of this planet.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 03:14 AM
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I read the article and sensed it's time the board stepped up and reviewed its approach to the whole topic of education. Maybe the students being bullied don't feel up to debating a whole class who might just all be against them, since tolerance and kindness don't seem to be school values. Maybe they need to address their values first and the role the teacher can play in teaching those.

As far as opening up debates, the victims need to be consulted as well as the teachers. Perhaps the victims feel too vulnerable in being outnumbered by the rest of the class. The teachers would need to control the debate according to strict guidelines so that such debates would not re-victimize the students. It must be pure hell for those kids who are also at the age to have identity crises.
edit on 15-8-2011 by aboutface because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 03:26 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Domo1 i don't know if we will ever see a real solution to bullying in schools. regardless of whether the perceived impetus is ones sexuality, manner of dress, participation in a group/club/activity, their haircut --- you name it, some student somewhere will react poorly and victimize others supposedly because of it. the excuse a bully may offer is secondary as the primary problem is unwanted & unjustifiable abuse of others.

from what little i know of life supposedly bullies are acting out on others because they have rage over things in their life. with elementary and high school age students there is also a maturity factor, or lack thereof, that comes into play. young people sometimes do stupid things or the wrong thing. they may not even know why they acted out they way they did at the time. sometimes bullying is a one-time thing that the actor learns from. people make mistakes, live and learn. repeated bullying by the same actor is a real problem.

it's easy for grown adults to forget how difficult those times were for us. it's a whole different world with a different set of problems. "it isn't easy being green", said our friend Kermit the Frog. being a teen can really suck, and school can make it blow 10x harder. most don't feel like they fit in anywhere. they are still growing and learning things, not just textbook stuff, but handling new feelings, relationships, perceptions, all the while trying to cope with raging screaming hormones coursing through their body. it's a little slice of hell on earth.

my guess is that it would be best to face issues head-on in the lecture hall or gymnasium with as many students as possible present. they always made us, in my time, show up for the rah-rah meetings to blow smoke up the football players pampered butts and endure happy happy Suzy Creamcheese cheerleaders do the Pep Rally thing. attendance was mandatory. few wanted to be there. if schools can pull students out of class on the premise of school pride they can do it on the premise of the school body learning to get along too.

i doubt this will ever happen. i don't know why but in the USA it seems to me we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to all sorts of issues that would make many citizens happy: legalizing it, legalizing prostitution, making damn sure people that have babies know how to parent them, responsibly being introduced to alcohol, etcetera.

perhaps TPTB that reign over the public school systems of the land know why they want the team quarterback and the head cheerleader to be placed on high ground and paraded before the school body. we seem to be in a never ending 'Groundhog Day' movie cycle of trying to exemplify the All-American Stereotype. in reality 1947 was a long time ago; it's 2011: the quarterback is gay and sells the best bud in town and the head cheerleader is a major slut with daddy issues.

i can't foresee schools making much headway with issues like bullying when so much time, effort and funding is annually channeled into the same things it has always done. sports and extra-curricular activities are good for some students, they enjoy them and learn some object lessons through them. meanwhile, the rest of the student body should also be celebrated for their achievements and interests. young people should be shown they are appreciated, they have value, and they should have something to be proud of. "every dog has their day" is nice for the dogs, every dog should have a chance to shine and receive kudos.

those in charge of setting up public school programs need to address the diversification that is the culture of America. we have people from all over the world living life here. the many differences in ethnicity, beliefs, traditions and sexuality should be touched upon in the school. i think if we don't address this topic with purpose we will continue to have ignorance and intolerance.

please note: these are my opinions only, based upon observation and life experience and not upon what other people may have researched, written a paper on, have a link to, etcetera. my 2 cents, nothing more.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 03:36 AM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


Thank you for taking the time to post that. I don't actually think we will ever see an end to bullying personally. I was a bit of a bully and the reason I acted the way I did was because I wanted to fit in. I once passed a note to my buddy making fun of a girl in our class that had been ruthlessly bullied for half the year. The teacher saw it, took it and read in front of the class laughing the whole time. Class cracked up but I didn't. I felt horrible that this girl didn't even have a teacher standing up for her. I stopped participating with the others after that, and it eventually died down but I still wish that teacher would have stood up for that girl. I guess I just feel like teachers should be standing up for these kids too.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 
Seems like *gay* isn't the issue here. The issues are some kids getting a buzz from being cruel to others and a school allowing them by not setting definite boundaries.

Stabbing a straight kid with a pencil is the same as stabbing gay kids isn't it? Or is it 'less wrong' to stab straight kids?

Before the cruel kids move on to other targets and take their sadism and bullying into the adult world, it's up to the school to deal with them. A starter would be some after-school attention on how to get along with people, why it's wrong to feel good at others' misery and respecting different people.

None of these approaches are a punishment or attract attention to gay kids. What they do is reinforce good behaviour and a bit of respect for each other. Instead of going straight for punishment, it's more important to understand why what happened was wrong. Punishment after that stage is fair enough and necessary.

Another crucial thing would be a little 'after-school attention' for the teachers for not protecting their students. They're supposed to be the adults and won't even step up to kids? Great role-modelling there ! 101 in bystander apathy.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:05 AM
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Whatever your opinion as far as gays are concerned, I don't care. Just listen, and hear some truth.


There is DEFINITELY a sub culture of the greater gay society, that is most detestable.

People ( even gays ) often call them the "queens" or f ags. These people were manufactured by the destructive celeb worship that goes on around the world.

What the hell are they going to do when the bombs start falling?? Redecorate??

Our enemies count on us having to take care of that considerable amount of useless persons, and help to turn our culture further in that direction any chance they get.

Most gay and lesbian people are just fine, but when you only know how to spritz hair you become a danger to your people.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


I agree, gay is not the issue. Faculty not addressing bullying is. I'm not one of those people that think bullying is the most horrific thing ever, but when it crosses into physical abuse, and no adult will help there is something VERY wrong.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by aboutface
 


So you want the kids who are being pissed on for being gay have to debate the school about what?
I want to make sure im clear on whats coming out of your mouth before i tear it apart.
edit on 15-8-2011 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 


The student body should have the right to ask people to keep any un natural sexual orientation to themselves.

Some gay people bug the [SNIP] out of some straight people. They are the few, and so should have consideration for the many.

Students shouldn't have to be put in positions where they believe they are obligated to pick on someone because they are gay.

It is a part of school culture to reject guys that are gay from the greater student body. It wont' end anytime soon.

Mod Edit: Profanity/Circumvention Of Censors – Please Review This Link.
edit on 15-8-2011 by Gemwolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by OldRepublic22
 


Just like athiests deserve a right to silence the religious?

quite sad how idiots only trumpet freedom when its their beliefs that get to be heard and accepted.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:28 AM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 


I think you misinterpreted that post a bit.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:30 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 
Yeah, as an adult, if I go and urinate on someone, or stab them, I'm gonna be up on charges. The kids and the staff need to understand this and not get distracted by the gay aspects. For example, the kid doing the urinating? What are the odds he's bullying a bunch of kids for other *reasons?* What's his home-life like? Chances are he doesn't have the empathy or hasn't thought how bad it makes others feel or how disgusting he seems to others? Then again maybe he does and that needs dealing with too.

When I was about 14 or so, me and friends bullied the crap out of some kids and one of them was gay. At the time, it was 'just a laugh' and it was a brief phase for me. Never been a bully since and don't have much toleration for it in life. The thing is, at the time, I didn't realise how badly it affected the kids and in particular the gay kid. It highlights that all bullies aren't evil and that some are just assholes like I was. Often the best way to deal with a-holes is to point it out, because a lot of the time they don't have a clue.

The teachers in this case have far fewer excuses to fall back on. They are adults and custodians (in loco parentis) and are obligated to protect kids from verbal and physical abuse as far as they are able to.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Agreed. It is pretty pathetic that teachers and staff didn't step up. I think even a 3 yo would know that peeing on someone is a no no. Hell I sure did. If you pee on another student, or stab them with any implement you should at the very least have a sit down with a cop. I also believe expulsion should be mandatory in those instances.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


well theres obviously so much to debate... where and when assaulting people is ok... or like who its ok to assault and how.

Maybe we could have all the parents come in and talk. Im sure we'd get some good quotes so that the rest of the world can see. It would be great for a daily show episode... we could count how many times they say bible and jesus.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:50 AM
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Originally posted by OldRepublic22
reply to post by Wertdagf
 

The student body should have the right to ask people to keep any un natural sexual orientation to themselves.


And how would you propose that should go? Asking people not to discuss sex or have relationships is just unreasonable. Straight students can't manage it, so why would gay students?

Ignoring the fact that 'unnatural' is your opinion, there are plenty of seemingly unnatural sex acts that go on all the time and are discussed at high schools on a regular basis. No extra emphasis should be placed on homosexuality. Furthermore, a relationship isn't necessarily sexual.

Personally I believe school should be like a work place ... People have relationships sometimes at work places, and you have to be mature enough to deal with it ... gay or straight.



Some gay people bug the **** out of some straight people. They are the few, and so should have consideration for the many.


Or we could just stop pretending like one group is the problem and be mature about situations.


Students shouldn't have to be put in positions where they believe they are obligated to pick on someone because they are gay.


Obligated? Really? If you honestly think it's unnatural then you may class it as a handicap or some such. Do children feel obligated to pick on a person who is in a wheel chair or has bipolar? They might carry social stigmas, but children should be taught to deal with these stigmas regardless of their opinions. Neutrality doesn't mean absence of intelligence.

If I was in a work place and someone had a problem with another's orientation and decided they were 'obligated' to make a statement about it repeatedly, they would be fired. Same goes if a person harassed someone in anyway sexually. Regardless of if you're pro gay or anti gay, you have to learn to conduct yourself like a decent human being.

If something bothers me I tell the person I don't want to talk about it. I don't reach for my 4B pencil and stab them in the throat. I don't think this is that hard. Apart from the usual rhetoric it seems pretty black and white.

Though I don't think it's the neutrality policy causing the sueings ... it's the 'I-just-got-stabbed-with-a-pencil-policy'.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 04:57 AM
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reply to post by Pinke
 





If I was in a work place and someone had a problem with another's orientation and decided they were 'obligated' to make a statement about it repeatedly, they would be fired. Same goes if a person harassed someone in anyway sexually. Regardless of if you're pro gay or anti gay, you have to learn to conduct yourself like a decent human being.


True story.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by aboutface
 


So you want the kids who are being pissed on for being gay have to debate the school about what?
I want to make sure im clear on whats coming out of your mouth before i tear it apart.
edit on 15-8-2011 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)


No, they are suing the board about its policies of neutrality, which prevents the teachers (or so it would seem) from discussing the issue at all. I am not proposing that anything be forced on the victims.
edit on 15-8-2011 by aboutface because: (no reason given)



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