Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Friday, April 10, 2009

GLSEN report on gay-bullying victim

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) reports that an 11-Year-Old Massachusetts boy hung himself after enduring daily anti-gay bullying in school. Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year.

Despite the fact that younger generations are more tolerant of their GLBT brothers and sisters, students still harrass and bully peers who do not fit within perceived gender or sexual norms. This happens regardless of whether someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Without support from school teachers and adminstration, students have few options in avoiding such harrassment. Two Memphis students were "outed"to parents and peers last year at Hollis F. Price High School when their names were posted as a couple on a list in the Principal's Office. Luckily, neither student experienced the same fate as Carl.

Let's do our part to ensure strong anti-bullying policies in Tennessee schools. Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) and Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin) are sponsoring bills (HB0451/SB0283) that require, rather than encourage, school districts to include certain criteria in policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. TEP SUPPORTS THIS LEGISLATION. The Senate has passed its version of the bill and the House is still considering their version. In memory of Carl, contact your House representative to let him or her know that you support this bill.

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