Make Menaul School a safe place for LGBTQ+ students

Make Menaul School a safe place for LGBTQ+ students

July 1, 2021
Petition to
Chairman Teresa Loar Menaul School Board of Trustees and 7 others
Signatures: 1,431Next Goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Maaike Fettah

June 30, 2021, the final day of Pride Month, we filed a human rights violation lawsuit for discrimination based on sexual orientation and unlawful retaliation against my son Ben’s former High School, Menaul School in Albuquerque, NM, and the head of school, Lindsey Gilbert, specifically.  We need your help to ensure that Menaul School is a safe environment for LGBTQ students going forward.

In a nutshell, a fellow male student found themselves attracted to Ben and his homophobic parents and best friend couldn’t handle that truth.  To take the scrutiny off of himself, the student lied and said Ben was sexually harassing people and threatening violence at school.   The parents, the student, and his best friend (also a Menaul School student) proceeded to spread rumors about Ben amongst the Senior class, parents of students, & teachers, and once they had people sufficiently scared, “reported” Ben to the school administration.  Everything that followed was a result of Mr. Gilbert’s biased homophobic views and his choices as a result of that.

The discrimination is clear in that Benjamin was punished on a level that was far beyond any logic and punitive in nature, while his heteronormative peers, who engaged in the same conversations received no consequences at all.  Realistically all of the students  engaged in normal teenage behavior, outside of school, in private, not on school platforms  or property, and none of it deserved punishment.  Meanwhile, the harm to Ben, and potentially to others, has been so great, that we are calling for Mr. Gilbert'simmediate removal from his position, and for changes to the policies and practices regarding disciplinary matters so that one person’s hatred and bias can never again cause such damage.  

We are also calling for a full investigation into the circumstances regarding the suicide of student T.O. in early 2020.  While we have no proof of wrong doing, the callous disregard for Ben's mental health and well-being from February 5th, 2021 forward, as well as the blatant homophobia displayed by Mr. Gilbert, coupled with his position of authority and influence over these young people, is cause for grave concern and we require accountability if it is warranted.

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Signatures: 1,431Next Goal: 1,500
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Decision Makers

  • Menaul School Board of TrusteesChairman Teresa Loar
  • Presbyterian churchLead Administrator or Contact for Presbyterian Schools
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)Lead Administrator or Contact for Presbyterian Schools
  • Presbyterian Church in AmericaLead Administrator or Contact for Presb
  • Rhoda WinderMenaul School Board of Trustees Member