Kids are discovering and/or questioning their sexualities at younger ages. Homophobic bullying is unnervingly common in my school and the teachers won't step in. Once, I told off a kid for directing homophobic slurs at a younger student and was told "that it wasn't worth it." It is indeed worth it. Every student deserves a safe and accepting learning environment and quite frankly, we aren't getting that. A gay-straight alliance would provide a safe haven for our LGBTQ students and their straight allies (who are bullied just as much) and together we can work to make the whole school a safer envoriment. Once before, last year, a few of my friends and I illustrated a petition that over 200 students signed. After showing it to our grade's counselor, it was turned down. She said that "it would lead to inappropriate conversations about sex". It was failed to point out that that is NOT what a GSA is about. I believe that if we try again, we could start something new at this school and do something good.
Please (it would mean the world to me) sign my petition and show your support.
"Youth are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning at younger and younger ages, in middle schools and high schools across the country. Far too many face pervasive harassment and violence at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research shows that youth harassed on the basis of sexual orientation are:
More than twice as likely to report depression and seriously consider suicide
More likely to report low grades, smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs
More likely to become victims of violence
3 times as likely to carry a weapon
3 times as likely to report missing school in the last 30 days
While youth who are harassed report weaker connections to school and less support from teachers and other adults, research shows students with GSA clubs at their school feel safer and more supported.
According to the Preventing School Harassment Survey, students in California schools with a GSA club:
experienced less harassment based on sexual orientation
experienced less harassment based on gender non-conformity
were more likely to feel safe at school
were more likely to feel school is safe for LGBT students and gender non-conforming students
reported stronger youth resilience factors, such as connections with supportive adults at school
GSA clubs can successfully decrease harassment and increase school safety for LGBTQ students." -Excerpt from www.gsanetwork.org