Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hatred in the Halls

The same day as several gay bashing in New Bedford and Portland, our local weekly paper did a cover story about local high students facing discrimination and harassment. In a front page story titled, “Hatred in the Halls, High Schools Battle Incidents of Discrimination” the article related several stories:
A high school student, “J. Chesson's heart sank last month after discovering her school notebook had been defaced with the words "gay," "faggot" and "queer." She felt even worse after realizing the vandalism was linked to her participation in a student panel of Gay-Straight Alliance members two days before.
. . .
An openly gay boy at Paly (Palo Alto High School) has been harassed in his physical education and dance classes by other boys who would ask him out on dates "just to make fun of him," Chesson said. Earlier this school year, someone carved an obscenely derogatory message into the classroom door of a Paly Spanish and living-skills teacher who is also the GSA advisor. Gay-Straight Alliance posters have been torn down from campus buildings. Members routinely hear students spout the words "faggot," "dike," and "queer," (the advisor) said, and sometimes it's in the presence of teachers.
. . .
A report in 2004 by the California Safe Schools Coalition found that 7.5 percent of middle and high school students statewide report being harassed on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation each year. That translates to more than 200,000 students, or enough to fill San Francisco's SBC Park four times, said Shannon Turk, director of the Outlet Program at the Community Health Awareness Council in Mountain View, which aims to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth ages 13 to 18.
. . .
Since 1997, the Outlet Program in Mountain View has offered support services, leadership training, community education and advocacy opportunities to LGBTQQ youth. The number of students seeking the program's core services has risen by about 25 percent in that time. Confidentiality is paramount.

For several years we have supported Outlet Program which services and support GLBTQQ youth on the San Francisco peninsula. They are having a fundraising benefit April 27th ( called Out to Eat.


Aethlos said...

Hey, dads!, just wanted to let you know that my blog, Weltanschauung, moved into a subdirectory. New address is:
sorry for the inconvenience!

Steve S said...

My heart goes out to those students. It's ironic, but just about an hour before you posted this article, I blogged about the harassment I endured in the halls of junior high, when I was growing up in Tulsa.

Jeff said...

Thanks for posting about this; I had no idea stuff like this was going on in my own (former) backyard. Thanks also for the link to Outlet; definitely looks like a worthwhile program.




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