Protect students across America: Stop the 'Don't Say Gay' bill
  • Petitioned Public Relations

This petition was delivered to:

Office of Governor Jay Nixon
Public Relations
Governor of Missouri
Jay Nixon

Protect students across America: Stop the 'Don't Say Gay' bill

    1. Joshua Head
    2. Petition by

      Joshua Head

      Springfield, MO

I grew up in Missouri and have attended Missouri public schools all my life. This fall I am getting married to my girlfriend of 6 years. This fall will also mark my third year teaching in a public high school, and my second year as the sponsor of the only gay-straight alliance (GSA) club at the high school in my hometown.

As a teacher, I feel it is my job to not only educate, but to provide a safe environment for ALL students. Through GSA and “Safe Space” posters for teachers, our school has become a safer place for kids. House Bill 2051, currently making its way through the Missouri State legislature, would require us to end our GSA, and tear down those “Safe Space” posters.  

The "Don't Say Gay" bill would ban discussions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public schools. As written, HB 2051 "prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction."  

Teachers frequently hear students hurl insults and comments at each other using perceived sexual orientation as a basis. This form of bullying can be especially hurtful, and in some cases, dangerous. But this bill does not seek to end bullying. In fact, it is guaranteed to exacerbate the issue by preventing teachers from being able to deter bullying in our public schools. And because the bill also extends the ban to extra-curricular activities, it will likely eliminate gay-straight alliances (GSAs) school clubs altogether.  

It's an outright attack on gay students that will not only make school more difficult for them, but possibly more dangerous, too.  

Nine out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experience harassment at school, according to GLSEN's National School Climate Survey. And tragically, these students are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.  

By silencing students and teachers from having an open dialogue about gay issues, schools are further stigmatizing the community, making gay students even more of a target for bullies, while simultaneously tying the hands of teachers from stopping anti-gay bullying.  

Our students deserve better. This bill mimics what's already been pushed by the Tennessee state legislature. We must stop it in Missouri before it spreads to more states. Please join me in urging Governor Jay Nixon to publicly oppose this dangerous and discriminatory legislation, and pledge to veto it. 

Sincerely,  

Joshua Head
High School Teacher / GSA Sponsor 

Photo credit: Jennifer Moo

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Ashley Dunn GOOSE CREEK, SC
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm a bisexual girl who has graduated high school. However, I have alot of friends still in the High School who are gay, lesbian, or bi and have been harassed for that. As a group we were able to get people to back off but if this goes through I don't know what will happen to them. I will definitely sign this cuz that bill is plain wrong.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gregory Demko NEW MILFORD, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      The only people who could support this bill are the people who didn't learn enough about LGBTQ issues in school in the first place. This bill is nothing but an attempt to further propogate ignorance.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Brenton Gordon ROCHESTER, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      This petition is of tantamount importance to the safety of all high school students, since the LGBT community comprises roughly 10% of humanity. Seriously, get with it Missouri.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elizabeth Michael-Trumbull COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      Speak Up, Speak Out. MAke some NOISE. Let the teens be heard. They need a safe spot to talk

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Chloe Rippel WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 2 years ago

      So are English teachers not going to be allowed to teach some of Shakespeare's sonnets because they were lovingly addressed to a man? Can history teachers talk about the life of Virgil without mentioning his homosexuality? And what's next? You can't teach Julius Caesar because Brutus and Cassius are really close? This is totally ridiculous.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.