Target: Richard Woods, State School Superintendent of Georgia
Goal: Put laws in place that would protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and discrimination.
A new report has indicated that, in the state of Georgia, LGBTQ students are among those in the state most susceptible to danger and maltreatment in the classroom. They are most often the targets of discrimination and harassment at the hands of their peers and their teachers. While the average of such treatment has gone down nationwide, not in the state of Georgia.
Shockingly, about 100 percent of students in the report heard the word “gay” use negatively. Similarly, 87 percent of students heard homophobic slurs in schools. About 70 percent heard negative comments about the transgender community. LGBTQ students have been unequally targeted for punishment due to PDA and have even been prevented from playing sports, forming a GSA, attending prom with their partners, and using the bathroom of their gender identity.
In 2017, it is appalling that such a group of people can be treated with such outward hate and contempt. Schools in Georgia must enact protections for the students, just as protections exist for students of different races, nationalities, genders, and learning abilities. How can students learn to treat each other with kindness if the schools themselves do not discourage such horrible behavior? Sign the petition and demand that schools in Georgia enact protections for LGBTQ students.
Dear Mr. Woods,
A troubling report out of your home state has shown that students in the LGBTQ community have been victims of rampant harassment and discrimination. Even as the national average of such behavior has gone down, nearly 100 percent of students in Georgia witnessed or heard discriminatory remarks. This is unacceptable in 2017.
The state of Georgia sorely needs to enact protections for LGBTQ students, just as it has protections for other students. What makes LGBTQ students any different? Children can only learn kindness if they are taught it, and Georgia is failing its students in this regard. I demand that you work with education officials in the state to enact protections for LGBTQ students. They deserve to feel safe in school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: JonRidinger