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Thank Lenoir City HS for embracing students like Zac
  • Petitioned Wayne Miller

This petition was delivered to:

Lenoir City Schools Superintendent
Wayne Miller
Lenoir City High School Principal
Steven Milsaps

Thank Lenoir City HS for embracing students like Zac

    1. Petition by


Write a note thanking Lenoir City School Superintendent Wayne Miller and  Lenoir City High School Principal Steven Milsaps for embracing the diversity of all students at Lenoir City High School.

The recent profile of Zac Mitchell included in the school yearbook sends an inclusive message to students, parents and teachers that all youth are valued and cared for at Lenoir City High School. Profiling the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning students in the school yearbook promotes an inclusive and safe environment where students can maximize their academic potential.

We've all heard reports of school environments which are hostile to LGBT students in Tennessee (e.g., Sequoyah High School, Gordonsville High School, Cheatham County High School, etc.), but Lenoir High School appears to be taking positive steps against this trend.

Research from GLSEN demonstrates that when educators include positive representations of LGBT people, history, and events in their curricula, students experienced school as a less-hostile place. LGBT students in schools with an inclusive curriculum were:

* Half as likely to experience high levels of victimization because of sexual orientation or gender expression.

* Less likely to feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation or gender expression.

* About half as likely to miss school be-cause of feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.

While it is not part of the curriculum, featuring Zac's story in the yearbook is a significant step toward creating a safe zone for LGBT students at Lenoir High School.

Let Lenoir City High School that the administration is setting a positive example for other schools in Tennessee to follow.

GLSEN (2011).Teaching Respect: LGBT-Inclusive Curriculum and School Climate (Research Brief). New York: GLSEN.


Recent signatures


    1. Lenoir City teacher: Article on gay teen part of covering student life

      "If you are doing it right, teaching isn't an easy career. You have to love it and love what you teach. If you do, and your students can see that, they will buy into the process and then there's no limit to what they can accomplish," James Yoakley said Monday at Lenoir City High School.

    2. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Helenmary Hendrix GALLATIN, TN
      • over 2 years ago

      Thanks for helping make a difference. ALL students should have a safe learning environment.

    • Sandra Jane Spear BRANDON, FM
      • over 2 years ago

      Zacs' courage is remarkable. As is the teacher-advisor who allowed the page to be published in the LCHS yearbbok. I'm old and southern enough to recall when gays were tightly closeted and the world was coming to an unnatural end because blacks were going to attend our high school. I look back in wonder at our collective ignorance. My grand and great-grand children, nieces and nephews will look back on this with the same bewilderment.

    • Elaine Townes NASHVILLE, TN
      • over 2 years ago

      It is the right thing to do!!! I have lots of relatives in Lenoir City, and that is where my grandparents were from!!!!!!

    • Janet Cardwell LOUDON, TN
      • over 2 years ago

      I sign to offer my support to Zac Mitchell, whom I know to be a good person. I sign to show support for Mr. Yoakley, whom I do not know, but who has challenged his students to think for themselves and has allowed them to do so publicly. I sign to offer my support to LCHS, as it goes through a challenging time of change. I sign because I believe in the Constitution...equal rights for all.

    • jonell gottlieb COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
      • over 2 years ago

      because people are people,period.


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