Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hatred. Derision. Insults. Threats. Harassment. Assault.

Would You Let This Happen to Someone You Love?

What if a kid you loved or your friend had to face this every day at school? What would you do?

Imagine sending your child off to school everyday, knowing once they’re there, they’ll be called names, get threatened and shoved, even kicked or punched.

Imagine if you had a friend who felt so unsafe at school that they started skipping class.

Imagine if your brother or sister, or your nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter told their teachers about the bullying—and their teachers didn’t do a damn thing about it.

What would you do? Would you give a damn?

Because this is what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have to endure at school, every single day. It’s estimated nearly 90% of gay and transgender youth have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted, compared to 62% of their straight classmates. Approximately 3 out of 4 gay and transgender students are frequently called “faggot” or “dyke” at school. And almost a third of students who reported an incident of bullying said that school staff did nothing in response.
Bullying is a big deal

Maybe you think this is no big deal—just kids being kids. But when 3 out of 5 gay and transgender kids feel unsafe at school, and 1 in 3 have skipped a day of school in the past month because of it, it’s a big deal.

When 2009 saw the brutal assault of a gay teen by a classmate wielding a metal pipe and two suicides—both of whom were only 11 years old—because of homophobic taunting at school, it’s a big deal.

When 95% of secondary school principals report that students at their schools have been harassed because of their gender expression—and nearly one-third of principals acknowledge their staff are poor at dealing effectively with homophobic bullying, it’s a big deal.

And when only 16 states and the District of Columbia have safe school laws in place that protect students from bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation, it’s a big deal.

In fact, it’s something to give a damn about. Because ask yourself: Would you allow any of this to happen to someone you love? Or would you give a damn?

It’s well past time to give a damn about the safety of gay and transgender youth in our schools.

Learn More About The Give A Damn Campaign HERE

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