“That [gay] bullying thing is the biggest lark out there.”
“[Homosexuals] do not naturally reproduce. It happens in nature, but so does beastiality. That does not make it right or something we should be teaching in school."
“My understanding... is that it is virtually, if not completely impossible, to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex. It's virtually impossible.”
These three quotes are just a few of many that have brought Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield to national prominence in the past few years. He has trivialized LGBT youth suicide, labeled homosexuals as a “dangerous and deadly” community because he ignorantly claims only they can transmit HIV/AIDS, and has attempted to pass the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill which would prevent any type of non-heterosexual discussions in schools. His beliefs are unacceptable for modern day society and certainly don’t set a good example for future generations.
Yet the Board of Education for the Vestal Central School District seems to disagree. Senator Campfield, an alumnus of Vestal High School, was inducted into Vestal Central Schools’ Hall of Fame in 2008 for his political recognition. What sort of example does that set for the future students of Vestal Senior High School when they showcase a man who has made outright abusive comments in such a public forum? How can Vestal High School claim to have a zero tolerance policy towards bullying when it honors a bigot in its Hall of Fame?
Although recently members of the Vestal community have been pressuring the Board to remove him, culminating in a meeting where several speakers spoke out against Campfield, the school board refused to remove him. They argued that they did not know about his beliefs before he was inducted and that Campfield has the freedom to say what he wants. These excuses are flimsy and unreasonable.
We refuse to accept the Board’s decision. With enough public pressure and outcry, we can still remove Campfield from the Hall of Fame. We, as members of the Vestal community, need national help. Please help our town make a stand. Sign our petition so we can raise awareness about this man’s statements and actions, because he doesn’t deserve honor or respect even in a small town like ours. Take a stand against anti-homosexual bigotry, take a stand for gays who have been bullied, and take a stand for a modern tolerant society.
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