The national headlines from Time Magazine: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness – and also from Time:
It Gets Better’: Wisdom From Grown-Up Gays and Lesbians to Bullied Kids
Parents, are you teaching tolerance? Are you tolerant? Children learn by example, what are your actions teaching your children?
From the suicide of Tyler Clementi to the death of 13 year-old Asher Brown (he shot himself) that recently told his parents he was gay, it is time that our society takes action. Asher Brown came to a breaking point after another boy kicked Asher down a flight of stairs twice while at school and kicked all of his books out of his hands. His parents spoke out on The TODAY Show and expressed their concern that this has to stop.
Being gay is not a ticket to being bullied.
Being a teenager today can be difficult enough, being a gay teen can be a constant battle. Suicide is said to be the third leading cause of death for teenagers. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, as many as 25 suicides are attempted for each one that is completed.
Studies indicate that students who regularly experience verbal and non-verbal forms of harassment suffer from emotional turmoil, low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, poor academic achievement and high rates of absenteeism. Research also shows that many of the bystanders to acts of harassment experience feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and develop poor coping and problem-solving skills. Clearly, homophobic and all types of harassment-and the toxic effects they produce-are whole school problems that all educators must confront. – ThinkB4YouSpeak.com
Groups like the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and The Trevor Project have been working to educate the public on this issue, and, more importantly create ways for us to put an end to these tragedies.
In Jacksonsville, there is the Gay Youth Information Line. Call (904) 389-0089 for more information. Click here for more info in Jacksonville.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 250 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit www.pflag.org.
ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.
Be an educated parent, teach tolerance and have safer teens.