Support an LGBT-Inclusive Bullying Policy in Cheatham County Schools
  • Petitioned Tammie Lavende

This petition was delivered to:

Cheatham County School Board
Tammie Lavende
Cheatham County School Board
Michele Collins
Cheatham County School Board
Tim Williamson
Cheatham County School Board
Greg Horton
Cheatham County School Board
Dianne B. Proffitt
Cheatham County School Board
William Johnson
Cheatham County School District
Dr. Tim Webb

Support an LGBT-Inclusive Bullying Policy in Cheatham County Schools

    1. Petition by


Our hearts go out to the family, friends, classmates and teachers of Jacob Rogers, a student at Cheatham County Central High School in Ashland City, TN who completed suicide on December 7, 2011. A news report alleges that Jacob Rogers complained of frequent bullying at school based on sexual orientation. A friend of Jacob reported that he dropped out of school before Thanksgiving after feeling ignored by school officials.

This terrible event serves as a reminder to all parents, teachers and school administrators that they share a responsibility for supporting the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Individuals, families, communities and the whole of society have a responsibility to promote a culture that welcomes, accepts and supports LGBT students for who they are.

During this difficult time, we encourage students, parents and teachers to take advantage of grief counseling offered by Cheatham County Central High School or other mental health resources in the community. Discussions that follow youth suicide deaths present an important opportunity to remind people — and families of LGBT youth in particular — of how important it is to love, embrace and accept their entire child for all of who they are.

Following this terrible event, Tennessee Equality Project calls upon the Cheatham County School Board to fully investigate this tragic incident and the school’s response to the bullying of Jacob Rogers. We also call upon the School Board to implement the following recommendations from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) for addressing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment:

1. Revise district policy to explicitly prohibit student discrimination, harassment, bullying, and intimidation based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The school district must establish an enumerated policy for unwelcomed conduct that focuses on sex, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. An enumerated policy is crucial to ensure that anti-bullying policies are effective for all students.

2. Require staff trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.

3. Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in events such as the National Day of Silence and Ally Week. GSAs in schools have proven effective in reducing violence and harassment of LGBT students.

4. Institute age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Anti-Bullying Petition Gains Steam after Teen Death

      This news report from the last week of 2011 shows how nearly 2,000 people are putting pressure on Cheatham County Schools to strengthen their anti-bullying policies.

    3. Meeting to discuss suicide leaves Cheatham Co. parents angry

      Cheatham County Central High School officials appear to be unwilling to address the bullying that Jacob experienced and that many other students, parents, and teachers report is happening at the school.

    4. Reached 1,500 signatures
    5. Former teacher says bullied student was ignored by administrators

      The community in Ashland City: parents, congregations, teachers, school administrators, and elected school board members have a responsibility to take steps to ensure the school does everything it can to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

    6. Reached 500 signatures
    7. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Kaitlin Alcantara CORONA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm signing so that, in the future, someone doesn't have to die before anything's done about the reason why.

    • G. R. Gray STOCKTON, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Tell the Calif gov. that marrying a lesbian is antithetical to gay marriage rights

    • Megan Pelzel LAKESIDE PARK, KY
      • almost 3 years ago

      It's one thing to be against homosexuality, but it's just crossing the line when you dislike it so much you are willing to stand back and let the lives of kids be emotional traumatized, physically abused, and damaged to the point where they simply can't handle life anymore and commit suicide. It's a sad day when a child would rather take his life than go to school. Fine, be homophobic, but how should that go hand in hand with supporting suicide?

    • john brahier FT. HOOD, TX
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because if you don't defend everyones' freedom, you're going to lose yours.

    • Rebecca Merryman HOMEWORTH, OH
      • almost 3 years ago

      There is never a reason to bully...EVER.


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