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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inspiring letter from a Tennessee teacher

A teacher from rural Tennessee recently sent this letter to Tennessee Equality Project. His dedication to educating students and confronting bullying in his school inspires us to keep up the fight for safe schools and equality in our state:
I am a high school teacher in a small Tennessee town. I signed this petition because it is so important for our glbtq youth and it is important to me on a personal level as well. I am a gay educator and have been discriminated against in several positions where I did not get tenured as a teacher. Its hard to prove of course because a bigoted administration, or central office staff will not admit discriminating in writing, but I know it has happened to me. I believe many students at my high school think I am gay already and my administration knows that I have attended safe schools workshops in Alabama and South Florida to advocate for our glbtq youth.So far, nothing has ever been said to me by any administrator, or staff. The school has had four Spanish teachers in the last four years so maybe this time I have job security even though its not my ideal town to live and teach in. However, I am thankful that I have a job. We do have several students that I believe are glbtq. So hopefully they know that I am a support system and role model for them.  
Well, I appreciate your time reading my message. I hope this bill does not pass because I let my students know in high school not to make fun, or bully any students that may be glbtq, or perceived as glbtq as well as not to make fun of any student regardless of one's background, or appearance. I do my job, relate well to my students, and make sure its a safe learning environment.

Will you help this teacher continue his good work with students in Tennessee? 

Please sign TEP's petition against the "Don't Say G_y" bill and participate in our phone campaign to the House Education Committee before Tuesday at 12 Noon. Then invite your friends to do the same. 

- Jonathan Cole

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