Georgia, what the hell is going on? I received an email from allout.org today, in the middle of College Composition II, which immediately distracted me from the topic at hand. Fortunately, I am using my computer to take notes, and was able to look more into the issue. According to The New York Times, over 100 schools are taking advantage of some policy to ban gay students. Let me say that one more time. Over 100 schools in Georgia are banning LGB*students.
The 400 students at a private school in Woodstock, for example, must adhere to a policy that states, “Homosexual behavior, whether an ‘immoral act’ or ‘identifying statement,’ is incompatible with enrollment at Cherokee Christian Schools and is a basis for dismissal.”
A male student at the Shiloh Hills Christian School in Kennesaw, who utters “I like boys” or “I am a homosexual” will be expelled.
And at the 800-student Providence Christian Academy 20 miles north of Atlanta, a student who is gay, lesbian or bisexual or supports people who are could be kicked out.
They’re even targeting allies of LGB* students. And students with LGB* parents.
Steve Suitts, the vice president of the foundation and the author of the report, said that as many as a third of the schools in the scholarship program have strict antigay policies or adhere to a religious philosophy that holds homosexuality as immoral or a sin.
As a result, his report says, public money is being spent by private educational institutions that “punish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen to have same-sex parents or guardians, or express support or tolerance for gay students at school, away from school or at home.”
Punish, denounce, and even demonize students in the name of religion. Because of their sexual orientation, because of the sexual orientation of their parents, or because they support those people who have minority sexual orientations.
People are worried about bullying of LGBT* students, and wonder where their children learn this behavior. There was practically a suicide epidemic, and people wondered why. Here is your answer. Systematic oppression, bullying by the schools themselves, setting an example that it is okay to treat LGBT* students in a way that could be defined as bullying. Society itself says that LGBT* people are inferior in some way. Society tells young, impressionable people that gays don’t have the right to marry. Gays don’t have the right to be treated as human beings. Gays don’t have the same rights as everyone else. What other conclusion would children draw but that LGBT* people are a target, and one that is supported by society.
There was no mention of the policy of these 100 odd schools regarding transgender* students. If I had to guess, I would say that should it come up, these students would be expelled as well. After all, why not? Being homosexual or bisexual is definitely more acceptable in society than being transgender*. I can only imagine what would happen to a student who came out as trans* or gender non-conforming in these schools.
Sign the petition at allout.org. Raise awareness of this problem. Share it on facebook and twitter, and get your friends and followers to sign. I know I will.