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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TEP responds to tragedy in Gordonsville

As TEP leaders, members and supporters grieve the loss of  Phillip Parker in Gordonsville, Tennessee Equality Project is taking steps to respond to the tragedy. Here's what we are doing:

TEP joins the family and friends of
Phillip Parker in grieving a senseless loss. 
  1. TEP has contacted Smith County School Superintendent Roger Lewis and District Principals to advocate for more teacher training and revision of school anti-bullying policy.  We are offering TEP Foundation's LGBT diversity and cultural competency training.  We've asked the administration to work with their school board to  expand the list of differentiating characteristics in their anti-bullying policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity. We've shared research with the administration that demonstrates how taking these steps can lead to improving educational and health outcomes for all students. 
  2. TEP is engaging the media to make sure the public is aware of the issue and the connection to bad state legislation such as the "License to Bully" bill and the "Don't Say G_y" bill.  
  3. TEP Upper Cumberland Committee is holding a Candlelight Vigil in Cookeville on Thursday at 8 PM in solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth.  
  4. TEP is actively fighting negative state legislation through professional lobbying strategy, generating thousands of email contacts with state legislators and the Governor, and putting together events at the Legislature to show that Tennesseans don't want discriminatory bills.  
You too can take positive steps to raise awareness about the importance of providing safe schools in your community. Here are some concrete actions you can take:
  1. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper outlining the hazards of the "License to Bully" bill and the "Don't Say G_y" bill.
  2. Make a Youtube video with your webcam or flipcam that shows your support for LGBTQ students in Tennessee. Share that video with Tennessee lawmakers and members of you local school board.  Post it on Tennessee Equality Project's Facebook Fan Page to reach a wider audience.
  3. Mark your calendar for the 8th Annual Advancing Equality Day on the Hill on March 13, 2012 and plan to talk with your State Senator and Representative in Nashville about the need to confront anti-LGBT bullying in Tennessee schools.

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