Mississippi Students Protest Their District’s Opposition to the Formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Group January 21, 2015

Mississippi Students Protest Their District’s Opposition to the Formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Group

Last week, I posted about Rankin County School District in Mississippi and how Superintendent Lynn Weathersby (below) was doing everything in his power to prevent a Gay-Straight Alliance from forming at Brandon High School:

“I talked to (board attorney) Freddie (Harrell) and several administrators about what we could legally do to limit organizations like that on campus that we don’t want to endorse and don’t want,” Weathersby said.

In the school board meeting on Wednesday, Weathersby said he spoke with the board attorney and other administrators and learned that the best strategy for limiting organizations would be to require parents to sign a consent form allowing their children to participate in the club.

Newly appointed board member Ira Singleton asked Harrell what would happen if parents did consent to their children participating in such a club. Harrell responded that at that time, it would be up to the school’s principal to decide whether the club meets school requirements.

The board approved the new policy.

Yesterday, about 100 people protested the district’s decision and there were some brave-as-hell kids out there:

Lucas Bonham, an 18-year-old Senior at Brandon High School who identifies as male and is transgender, is one of the students who proposed the groups creation.

He says the alliance would be nothing but helpful to LGBTA students.

“It’s hard to deal with not knowing who you are or understanding yourself,” Bonham said.

“Lots of students and a lot of my friends personally want to join this. I got the messages as soon as this hit the news. They’re like ‘What can I do to help?’,” Bonham said.

And then there were the students who seemed to model their bigotry after district leaders:

Counter-protester[s], some saying they belong to a district-sanctioned Christian group, also showed up at the rally.

“I mean no disrespect toward them. It’s just what they believe and what I believe. It’s not believing if you’re an atheist or a Christian. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that what I believe is what I believe,” 18-year-old High School senior Dean Arnold said.

That’s… an articulate way of saying nothing at all. Glad that whole education thing is working out for him. I think I know who gave him lessons on answering questions:

The district says that the GSA is being denied because it would “promote discussion of sexuality”… which is exactly the sort of thing people would say when they’re basing their knowledge of the group entirely on Fox News Channel talking points rather than conversations with the students who want to form it.

What Weathersby is doing is despicable. I’m glad to see some students who get it, but when the leadership has that much intolerance in their hearts, there’s little hope for improvement in the district.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)


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