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June 05, 2009
Schools in Knox County Tennessee where computers were blocking a variety of educational and political LGBT Web sites but failed to block websites promoting 'reparative therapy' announced that the problem was a glitch in the system...
Superintendent Jim McIntyre told the county school board on Wednesday the school system was working on the matter before a lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Knox County and Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County school systems for denying access.
Hey there Knox County and Metropolitan Nashville, and Davidson County students! Check out the blog archive to the left to catch up on all the news over the past few months.
- Knoxville restores GLBT web access to schools (365 Gay)
- Tennessee Schools End Censorship Of Gay Educational Web Sites After ACLU Lawsuit (ACLU Press Release)
June 03, 2009
>Rob Williams and Arnie States from the Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning radio show at KRXQ made horrifying comments about transgender youth on Thursday. They addressed the controversy on today's show. They pulled back slightly in the brief part I listened to but didn't seem too apologetic (though, to be fair, I didn't listen to the whole thing).
They also congratulated themselves for recently deciding to no longer use "faggot" on air.
Here are some of the outrageous comments from Thursday, discussed in a great post by Michael Rowe at Huffington Post:
Williams and States took turns referring to [transgender] children as "idiots" and "freaks," who were just out "for attention" and had "a mental disorder that just needs to somehow be gotten out of them," either by verbal abuse on the part of the parents, or even shock therapy.
"Allowing transgenders to exist, pretty soon it becomes normal to fall in love with the animals," they said.
For his part, States bragged that if his own son were to ever dare put on a pair of high heels, States would beat his son with one of his own shoes. He urged parents whose own little boys expressed a desire to wear a dress to verbally abuse and degrade them as a viable response.
"Because you know what? Boys don't wear high heel shoes. And in my house, they definitely don't wear high heels.
"I'm going to go, 'You know what? You're a little idiot! You little dumbass!'" States sneered, adding later, "I look forward to when [the transgender children] go out into society and society beats them down. And they wind up in therapy."
Obviously, GLSEN is outraged by the hosts' comments. Nearly 9 out of 10 transgender middle and high school students experience harassment school, according to the GLSEN report Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation's Schools.
June 02, 2009
>Dr. Jill Biden, a 28-year-educator and wife of the Vice President, spoke at last night’s GLSEN Respect Awards – New York gala, making the case that all students deserve to be safe in school, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Biden pointed to the recent suicides of Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, who had suffered constant anti-gay bullying, as part of the consequences of the “failure to confront a hostile school climate where bullying and harassment can be daily occurrences.” Sirdeaner Walker, Carl’s mother, also attended and received the GLSEN Award for Courage.
Dr. Biden’s remarks:
(Clip begins with low audio. It is corrected about half-way through.)
May 21, 2009
In September 2002, three skinheads were roaming a park in Rheims, France, looking to "do an Arab," when they settled for a gay man instead. Twenty-nine-year-old François Chenu fought back fiercely, but he was beaten unconscious and thrown into a river, where he drowned.
The acclaimed French verité film Beyond Hatred is the story of the crime's aftermath; above all, of the Chenu family's brave and heartrending struggle to seek justice while trying to make sense of such pointless violence and unbearable loss. With remarkable dignity, they fight to transcend hatred and the inevitable desire for revenge.
You can view the trailer here.
May 20, 2009
Groundspark's groundbreaking new documentary Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up will make its premiere at a benefit for Groundspark May 26 at Hunter College in NYC. Eliza Byard, who is included in the documentary, will be a guest speaker at the event.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit Groundspark's Straightlaced page.
May 20, 2009
>A suit was filed yesterday by the ACLU Tennessee against schools that block pro-LGBT web sites including GLSEN but don't block anti-LGBT or ex-gay sites. "Allowing access to Web sites that present one side of an issue while blocking sites that present the other side is illegal viewpoint discrimination," said Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group and lead attorney on the case. "This discriminatory censorship does nothing to make students safe from material that may actually be harmful, but only hurts them by making it impossible to access important educational material."
Bryanna Shelton a student at Fulton HS in Knoxville, Tenn., and her mother discuss how the blocked content affected them.
May 19, 2009
Ventura County Superior Court Judge James Cloninger Monday set the preliminary hearing for 15-year-old murder suspect Brandon McInerney to July 8.
Brandon is accused of fatally shooting classmate Lawrence King on Feb. 12, 2008. You may remember Brandon's father was found dead of an accidental death back in March.
- Judge sets preliminary hearing for McInerney (Ventura County Star)
May 13, 2009
>Maddie Smith, 14, will be given the Queer Youth Leadership Award this Saturday at the Santa Cruz County Task Force awards ceremony.
Smith, who is an out bisexual eighth-grader, is an outspoken member of her school's Gay Straight Alliance and has worked to educate teachers and staff about bullying of queer youth. Before the November election, she wore anti-Proposition 8 T-shirts to school every day.
- Students, allies heralded for raising awareness of gay youth (The Mercury News: Central Coast)
May 13, 2009
Not only do they try to get people to stop using ‘gay’ as a synonym for anything that sucks, but they do it in a playful and humourous way...I think it’s great that a superstar actress like (as far as we know) heterosexual Hilary Duff, who has a lot of admiration and respect amongst the youth of today, to contribute her celebrity to be a part of this.
We agree. If you haven't seen the ads yet. Check them out at www.thinkb4youspeak.com.
- That's So Gay (Homorazzi)
May 05, 2009
>GLSEN is excited to announce that a federal anti-bullying bill – the Safe Schools Improvement Act – was introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 5 by California Rep. Linda Sanchez.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act will require schools that receive funding from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to implement an anti-bullying policy that protects students from bullying and harassment and includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other categories.
Now the hard work begins and we need your help. The bill had 35 cosponsors upon introductioin, and we’d like to see that number increase.
Please consider reaching out to your Representative and ask her or him to become a cosponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. For more information about how to contact your Representative and a list of current and past cosponsors, CLICK HERE.
The bill’s introduction came less than a month after the tragic suicides of a fifth and sixth grader in part because of anti-LGBT bullying. Bullying of all kinds has to stop, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act is a crucial step in making schools safer for all students.
Thank you for your support!