Stop promoting racial and homophobic bullying towards Arzell
  • Petitioned Harrah Board of Education

This petition was delivered to:

Harrah Board of Education

Stop promoting racial and homophobic bullying towards Arzell

    1. Malik Leigh
    2. Petition by

      Malik Leigh

      West Palm Beach, FL


Arzell is a 14 year old bi-racial student at a middle school in Harrah, Oklahoma.  Like the broader community, Arzell is one of the only non-white students at his school. Continuously throughout the school year he has been bullied by students AND faculty members. The school administration has been made fully aware but refuses to enforce their "no-tolorance" policy.

Here is a list of some of the things that Arzell has endured this year:

1. He has had a knife pulled on him and threatened by a fellow student while attending a school football game. (We know who the student is)
2. He has had paper towels thrown at him by a teacher after getting sick in class.  This teacher not only chastised him, but punished him for getting sick after pleading with the teacher to allow him to call his foster mother.  The teacher refused and Arzell was punished.
3. He has been repeatedly been called a "nigger" by classmates in and out of school.  
4. His foster brothers have had "nigger-lover" and other racist images plastered all over their facebook walls.
5. His gym teacher had his class play a game of "Smear the Queer" which a student asked the teacher if they could play "Smear the Nigger" instead.  The students then jumped on Arzell with the teacher allowing it.  When Arzell protested, he was punished and told to "Man Up."  Arzell was injured, and currently walks with a limp.

The instances of bullying around the nation is troubling.  Left unchecked, it often leads to severe injuries, severe emotional problems, and as of late, children committing suicide.  

The problem in this case is not only children engaging in the bullying, but the acquiescence of the parents in the community and the educators that are tasked with maintaining a safe environment for our children.  Harrah, Oklahoma is known by many that live in the town, and out as a very intolerant town with regards to the issue of race and sexual orientation.  Although there are many members of the community that do not hold these views their silence has allowed the vast majority to paint them all in this negative light.   NO MORE.

We want the Harrah Public School System actually follow their "no-tolerance" policy and apply it to ALL students.
We want them to hold ALL students AND TEACHERS accountable for racial, homophobic, or any other act of bullying.
We want the Harrah School Board to force their teachers and principals to undergo diversity training.
We want a personal and public apology to Arzell and his foster family, for allowing them to go through what they have.  

Arzell's 4 foster brothers are always try to protect him. Often to their own harassment. Despite the insults, jabs, and racial intimidation, they are all strong kids and are standing up for what is right.  Beth Winsted, the foster mother, is a very strong and caring woman who opened her home to Arzell.  She has been fighting the school he attends all year for Arzell's protection.  They have continuously ignored her.  Both Beth and Arzell need everyone's help.  

We ask that everyone PLEASE sign our petition.  The school does not want to hear Arzell's cries.  We need to make this public; nationally if possible. We will be holding a rally to bring to light Arzell's school, and the broader Harrah, Oklahoma community's promotion of racial intolerance which has led Arzell's bullying.  

The school could care less about Arzell's bullying. Apparently, It doesn't rise to the level where they should care.  So If they won't hear Arzell, Beth, and Arzell's foster brothers, then they need to hear it from all of us.

With everyone yelling along side him, Arzell wants the Town of Harrah, Oklahoma, the School Board, and his bullies to answer this question....CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!?

Thank you for your support
----------------

Sincerely,

Malik Leigh, Esq.
Beth Winsted and her 4 sons
ARZELL

Recent signatures

    News

    1. GREAT TURNOUT!!!

      Malik Leigh
      Petition Organizer

      Everyone, I want to thank you for the Arzell Gaddis Anti-bullying rally at Harrah Middle School. I personally had a blast and got to meet great people, and awesome kids. BUT WE ARE NOT DONE! Arzell still has to attend there. His Foster Brothers and buddies still have to brave the insults and taunts. The racist posts by students and the intimidation and inaction by the Teachers and Principal. We heard other stories of kids being bullied by others with that principals knowledge. And we met a whole lot of frustrated parents. This is not the end..its only the beginning. There are parents and kids all over the state that are just as frustrated and angry as the parents in Harrah. If you want us, just let us know!

    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. 200 and still growing!!

      Malik Leigh
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to everyone all across the country supporting this cause. As previously stated, I am arranging radio spots to get our message out, but we need your help. If you are know anyone in the print, local or national media, please inform them of this situation so that we may get the word out to even more people.

      We are planning a demonstration Thursday, May 3rd 2012 in Harrah. Details to be known Monday or Tuesday (to prevent the wingnuts and zealots from making it an unsafe environment) so please stay tuned. To all the people I have noticed that live in Harrah, I want to personally single you out for your support, and many thanks. You live there and know the "ways" in that town. People like you can change the perception that everyone in Harrah is a racist or homophobe. We need you more than anyone.

      Thank you EVERYONE, and lets remember that there is a young man ARZELL that is at the heart of this. When its all said and done, he is why we are here.

      Thanks
      Malik and Beth

    4. 100 Supporters and Counting

      Malik Leigh
      Petition Organizer

      We are well on our folks. We can't thank everyone enough. I am working on getting the word out on radio and TV stations across the nation. I know its a weekend, but please everyone, if you can, share this petition with everyone. The School and community did not want to listen....we want to MAKE THEM LISTEN.

      Thanks.
      Malik Leigh, Esq

    5. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Alida Arrington WICHITA, KS
      • over 2 years ago

      I believe EVERYONE is created equal, no matter what race or sexuality they might be. I am a mother to 3 biracial children and I would not want them to have to endure what this family has!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • SUSAN BLUE TULSA, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      Bullying must be stopped--no matter what sexual orientation or color the child is. The school administration MUST enforce their "no-tolerance" policy. If these reports are true, all of the teachers involved should be fired immediately. TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE and UNPROFESSIONAL and morally wrong on every level.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carre Maggard EDMOND, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      im signing this because bullying and racism is plain ignorant & besides arzell is my nephew. It should not matter ur race, your shoes, or clothes, it should matter whats on the inside not out. My nephew has a heart unlike some, so I HEAR U ARZELL & KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK NEPHEW, DONT LET ANYONE STILL YOUR JOY! LOVE U!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Betsy Jones EDMOND, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      My grandchildren have been bullied this year at Orvis Risner Elementary School in Edmond, OK. I brought it to the school's attention, they do nothing!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen Wilbanks EDMOND, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm a certified teacher and there is NO reason any teacher, coach, administrator, or school staff member should discriminate or allow bullying against any student. Besides that, Arzell is my grandson and I love him dearly!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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