One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Gellert1984
Posts: 588
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:07 pm UTC
Location: South Wales UK

One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Gellert1984 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Trigger warning, Bullying, Suicide, bald faced stupidity and ignorance.

This story makes me want to hurt people in very permanent ways. It left me in tears. It's five pages long so I wont post it here unless requested.

Link

TL;DR Anoka in Minnesota has been subject to a number of teen suicides after the introduction of a 'neutrality' policy at school district level resulted in a free-fire on homosexuality related bullying, the school district sticks there head in the sand while the religious fundamentalists claim the suicides have nothing to do with bullying and everything to do with 'gayness'.

I just can't get over this, the teachers, the students and the parents are all pointing at this policy and saying this is whats wrong but the district is more interested in playing fucking politics instead of doing their jobs.
The only time I question the right to Free Speech is when I watch Fox News, probably due to the fact that I don't think they really believe in it. -Elisa Scaldaferri

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:09 am UTC

Reading that, I felt alternately sick and furious. It's just absolutely disgusting, and I really wish there were a way to hold that school board responsible for those deaths.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

Nordic Einar
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:21 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:15 am UTC

I couldn't even finish it at first; I had to walk away because I could no longer seen my screen. This just further galvanizes me to continue my suicide prevention activism and work towards my degree.

I don't even know what to say. Just... fuck.

Radical_Initiator
Just Cool Enough for School
Posts: 1374
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Radical_Initiator » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:22 am UTC

I thank the OP for posting this. It is one of the more difficult articles I've read in recent memory, but the message is all the more important because of it. I'm passing it along to people I know.
I looked out across the river today …

PerchloricAcid
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:52 am UTC

I read the comments also, some of them say that the article is all lies. :?
Then I saw this comment (which I believe is truthfully written):
I knew Sam personally. I was in her english class. I still remember the exact time and place when I heard of her death. Im glad this is finally being brought up. I wrote a song for her and the school refused to put me in the talent show because it was "too sad". It is not Michelle Bachmans fault for these suicides and why she's even mentioned in this article is beyond me. Sam was a great person and she deserves this article to be published. People need to know her story.


Damn, I find it hard to believe that somebody has the fucking nerve to troll saying that the article is about lies! How can they not have compassion; how can they talk about "Christian" values while not seeing the danger its causing (not to mention that Christ, at least as presented in the Bible, would totally be on the anti-homophobic side)?
Homophobia, transphobia, and similar dangers MUST be taken care of. :evil:

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:58 am UTC

After the first few paragraphs I knew I should quit while it was just infuriating and not sickeningly horrifying. I think there's a legitimate lawsuit here: if children are being so thoroughly bullied that they're driven to suicide and the school administration refuses to prevent it, that's gross negligence. Schools are charged with providing a safe environment for their children, and if they can't do that, they should pay damages.

I thought this shit stopped in the 70s. My dad would often get beat up in 8th grade. He and his parents were talking to the principal, who said something along the lines of "Well maybe your kid should learn to defend himself." This shit is still going on? Actually, it's worse than that shit because it condones discrimination.

EDIT: I decided to read more, and apparently there are lawsuits going on. That's good.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

scienceroboticspunk
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Everywhere(or in NJ, USA)

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:40 am UTC

I dont know what to say except this is a strong article. I really should have followed the trigger warning, especially after I read the first paragraph.
It was one of the most touching articles I've ever read and I have mixed feelings about it. I feel so lucky reading it because I am a bisexual youth and have had to deal with minimal harassment. On the other hand I feel terrible feeling lucky and I wish all of them had the chances I had an the option to be happy and to get the help they needed.
I dont know if I will send this post or if it will be helpful. I am in tears and this response probably wont be useful to the conversation.
these are words
type, type, type

User avatar
Djehutynakht
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:42 am UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:Trigger warning, Bullying, Suicide, bald faced stupidity and ignorance.

This story makes me want to hurt people in very permanent ways. It left me in tears. It's five pages long so I wont post it here unless requested.

Link

TL;DR Anoka in Minnesota has been subject to a number of teen suicides after the introduction of a 'neutrality' policy at school district level resulted in a free-fire on homosexuality related bullying, the school district sticks there head in the sand while the religious fundamentalists claim the suicides have nothing to do with bullying and everything to do with 'gayness'.

I just can't get over this, the teachers, the students and the parents are all pointing at this policy and saying this is whats wrong but the district is more interested in playing fucking politics instead of doing their jobs.




Someone should send this to a good attorney. There's a very good chance that the school board/town/bullies could be successfully prosecuted from this.

User avatar
Not A Raptor
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Not A Raptor » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:46 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
Gellert1984 wrote:Trigger warning, Bullying, Suicide, bald faced stupidity and ignorance.

This story makes me want to hurt people in very permanent ways. It left me in tears. It's five pages long so I wont post it here unless requested.

Link

TL;DR Anoka in Minnesota has been subject to a number of teen suicides after the introduction of a 'neutrality' policy at school district level resulted in a free-fire on homosexuality related bullying, the school district sticks there head in the sand while the religious fundamentalists claim the suicides have nothing to do with bullying and everything to do with 'gayness'.

I just can't get over this, the teachers, the students and the parents are all pointing at this policy and saying this is whats wrong but the district is more interested in playing fucking politics instead of doing their jobs.




Someone should send this to a good attorney. There's a very good chance that the school board/town/bullies could be successfully prosecuted from this.

There are ongoing lawsuits. Not that I'd trust it to a local judge. :/
Van wrote:I like simple games.

Like Wizardry.

WARNING: Is acting like NaR.
Kellsbells: NAR is a sillypants
Not_A_Raptor: :p
Kellsbells: That is my expert assessment

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:47 am UTC

What also baffles me is that this happens at an arts school. I went to an arts school, there was a disproportionate number of gays and there wasn't an iota of homophobic bullying. Anyways, I think the staff and administration can easily be charged with criminal negligence. No law enacted by any government could force the kind of passivity on me that the teachers in those schools displayed.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Djehutynakht
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:42 am UTC

Not A Raptor wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:
Gellert1984 wrote:Trigger warning, Bullying, Suicide, bald faced stupidity and ignorance.

This story makes me want to hurt people in very permanent ways. It left me in tears. It's five pages long so I wont post it here unless requested.

Link

TL;DR Anoka in Minnesota has been subject to a number of teen suicides after the introduction of a 'neutrality' policy at school district level resulted in a free-fire on homosexuality related bullying, the school district sticks there head in the sand while the religious fundamentalists claim the suicides have nothing to do with bullying and everything to do with 'gayness'.

I just can't get over this, the teachers, the students and the parents are all pointing at this policy and saying this is whats wrong but the district is more interested in playing fucking politics instead of doing their jobs.




Someone should send this to a good attorney. There's a very good chance that the school board/town/bullies could be successfully prosecuted from this.

There are ongoing lawsuits. Not that I'd trust it to a local judge. :/



Would probably keep being appealed to a higher court, though.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Malice » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:25 am UTC

This is enraging. Not like internet rage where Facebook does something annoying, but actually stabbing rage. As in my reaction to getting gut-punched repeated by the article is "Who do I have to stab in order to save these kids?"

I just... I don't actually know what else to say. I'm so glad that I was lucky enough not to be bullied at my school. Granted, I wasn't out (I'm bi) but the culture I saw didn't have a lot of bullying in it, although I grew up in Texas. A little. But nothing like this, with scared teachers and ignorant administrators bowing to pressure from terrible, misguided anti-gay crusaders and leaving kids with the message that they don't matter and that being gay is wrong.

A girl I knew committed suicide in 6th or 7th grade. We weren't close then but I've never forgotten what it felt like to realize that people you knew could do that, even out of the blue with no warning, without asking permission or checking with you first. Suicide is terrible and sad and that people contributed to it by being bigoted fucks is absolutely horrible.

I'm glad the comments on the article aren't appearing for me, I don't know if I could take it.
Image

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:32 am UTC

The comments aren't that horrible. They're usually pretty inane, but if once in a blue moon a person posts something homophobic, 30 jump on him immediately.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Vaniver » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:09 am UTC

There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied.
Hm. Why did the other five commit suicide?

I eagerly await the widespread adoption of online high schools for any students who feel trapped in physical ones.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Lucrece
Posts: 3558
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:01 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Lucrece » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:39 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied.
Hm. Why did the other five commit suicide?

I eagerly await the widespread adoption of online high schools for any students who feel trapped in physical ones.


Amen. Public high school wasn't too terrible to me as a discreet gay kid in a 4000 kid high school, as homophobic it may have been with ghetto raggaeton/hip hop culture. It was, however, a blatant case of daycare posing as an educational institution, even when it boasted about its "robust" Advanced Placement programs.

It's such a colossal waste of time and wholly inefficient in learning pace. I like that more and more kids are dropping out and getting GED's, but sadly colleges are snooty and look down on them.

Moreover, supposedly the benefit versus homeschooling is that your kid socializes better, yet what I see is "Your kid picks up destructive behavior from other children whose parents are too busy/uninvolved, or are damaged by destructive behavior from other kids". There are other means by which your kid can socialize, and at least as a parent you get some input for which group your child will be mixing with and picking up habits from.
Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:35 am UTC

I got my GED and entered college at 15, it was an excellent decision. I'm going to community college, and although it's a lot like high school in terms of educational content, the structure is sufficiently different that I think most people who are competent in high school should probably do it. And it's very easy to transfer from a community college to a university, at least in California.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Lucrece
Posts: 3558
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:01 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Lucrece » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:40 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I got my GED and entered college at 15, it was an excellent decision. I'm going to community college, and although it's a lot like high school in terms of educational content, the structure is sufficiently different that I think most people who are competent in high school should probably do it. And it's very easy to transfer from a community college to a university, at least in California.



At least to a state university, since they tend to have some agreements in place to favor entry from sister community college programs.

It's a pity most kids get hyped up with "YOU MUST, LIKE, GET TO HARVARD OR ALL THE OTHER HARVARD LITE AND TAKE OUT A SECOND MORTGAGE TO PAY FOR IT ALL" by counselors and end up in more trouble than it's worth.
Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:53 am UTC

And then there's nobody telling them that the counselor's advice is purely academic, and that for mental health reasons they should take online classes or drop out. I am really lucky to have a therapist.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:17 am UTC

I can't wrap my head around the idea of being a high school teacher and remaining silent towards these kids.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Vaniver » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:21 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I can't wrap my head around the idea of being a high school teacher and remaining silent towards these kids.
I don't think teachers are all that less likely to be homophobes than the general population. (The primary anti-gay crusader in this particular case is a retired teacher.)
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:57 am UTC

Still...

My dad said that they couldn't make a law that would keep him from defending kids being bullied under his nose. It's one thing to be homophobic and it's another thing to see people exercise that homophobia to the extreme. I know a few homophobes, and they would not stand for that shit.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:03 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:I don't think teachers are all that less likely to be homophobes than the general population. (The primary anti-gay crusader in this particular case is a retired teacher.)
A teacher's first priority should always the welfare of their students; improving their lives and helping to make them happy, well-adjusted, productive adults is their job. Homophobia, while probably just as prevalent in teachers as it is in any other group, doesn't need to interfere with that.

I suppose I can understand how the rational works, though--that homosexuality represents an unproductive choice, and shouldn't be encouraged--and this is for the welfare of the students. This idea withers beneath the light of even a cursory critical analysis, but I don't think the people who think this way are interested in applying critical thought.

There should probably be some sort of distinction between people who are uncomfortable around or afraid of homosexuality and homosexual issues and people who actively fight it ('anti-gay', as mentioned in the article, sounds reasonable enough). A teacher who's uncomfortable about homosexuality can still act as an advocate for gay students; a teacher who's clearly unsupportive--or even antagonistic--toward homosexuality is going to have a harder time, and probably shouldn't be in the profession anyway.

To clarify, I don't think it's unreasonable to demand that teachers support homosexuality in the classroom insofar as that allows them to support homosexual students. You don't need to be supportive of homosexuality in the broadest sense, but allowing your students to bully other students for their sexuality (perceived or otherwise) is where the line has been clearly crossed.

User avatar
Ulc
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Ulc » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:27 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I can't wrap my head around the idea of being a high school teacher and remaining silent towards these kids.


When you're 40, married, your spouse is unemployed because of the recession, and you know that you can't get a job if you lose yours, and your oldest child are dependant on you for the college tuition, and you still have two children living at home, and you know that losing your paycheck will mean that you lose the car and the house as the bank takes everything, and you know that the school would have no trouble replacing you with someone from the horde of unemployed?

Well, you think really hard about dramatic gestures such as storming out.

It's not right - but I can easily understand the teachers.

My dad said that they couldn't make a law that would keep him from defending kids being bullied under his nose.


That kind of thing? Really easy to say until it's your house, your life, and your kids future on the line.

The majority of the blame here doesn't lie with the teachers, it rests squarely on the district board that enforces this kind of policies. Of course, the teachers should have stood against this and refused to accept it, but that's awfully easy to say when it's not one owns hopes and dreams for the future on the line. I dare say that there's not a single poster in this thread that has not, at some point, let some injustice slide because it was too risky or too troublesome to deal with.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:56 am UTC

I don't think I've let an injustice slide because it was too difficult to deal with for two reasons:

first, I haven't encountered many injustices.
second, I have no problems barging into situations that are none of my business.

So I'm kind of cheating. There are probably injustices I'd let slide because they're too difficult. I don't think this is one of them. Particularly seeing as they were afraid of the vagueness. If it's vague, then make that argument. I think this is less about risk and difficulty than it is about not wanting to think, which is an ironically famous problem in schools. EDIT: you also probably want to mix in a bit of hate and homophobia to the causes of teacher apathy.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Steax
SecondTalon's Goon Squad
Posts: 3038
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Steax » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:34 pm UTC

I'd consider the teachers a terrible victim of the whole thing as well, actually. They were stuck and manipulated and, if the individual wasn't homophobic, likely confused and conflicted. They were also forced into this policy, lest being kicked out. I sure wish one of them would have fought back, but it's hard to expect that of someone in that situation. Everyone around them was complying, the kids were getting bullied, and they were told to do so. It would be incredibly hard to resist that. I think they need a lot of support too, just to undo all that.

Even if one of the teachers left or refused to comply (and got subsequently removed), they probably would have stayed quiet or forced to be so. These people are still denying any wrongdoing - they probably would deny that any teachers were supporting their bullied students, either. And if any left voluntarily, they probably wouldn't have made a fuss over it, in fear of backlash.

Vaniver wrote:
There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied.
Hm. Why did the other five commit suicide?


I don't mean to speculate, but I'd imagine that there's a portion of people who aren't openly gay, but feel just as threatened. I recall there being scientific studies on this. A 1:1 ratio of known and unknown sounds rather optimistic, even.
In Minecraft, I use the username Rirez.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

I understand that some of the teachers are likely homophobic themselves, I'm not talking about those cretins; I'm talking about the teachers who are actively trying to be human beings, and forced to decide between their jobs and watching these kids lives unravel. While, as you pointed out Ulc, there is the clear and present fear of getting fired, during a recession, it sounds like the teachers were actually doing NOTHING. Not putting up any form of passive resistance, not 'helping how they could', etc.

Yes, I get it. I just found that absolutely horrifying to read. The important thing is that we're working towards a more moral 'murica.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Steax
SecondTalon's Goon Squad
Posts: 3038
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Steax » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:45 pm UTC

I'd infer from how teachers were given presentations and orders about how to deal with these kids, any teachers resisting would have been silenced or pushed aside. The fact that they were even giving these things seems to indicate that the teachers were already doing something the higher-ups didn't like.
In Minecraft, I use the username Rirez.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

Steax wrote:I'd infer from how teachers were given presentations and orders about how to deal with these kids, any teachers resisting would have been silenced or pushed aside. The fact that they were even giving these things seems to indicate that the teachers were already doing something the higher-ups didn't like.

Not at all; those presentations were in response to the rash of suicides.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Hawknc
Oompa Loompa of SCIENCE!
Posts: 6986
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:14 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Hawknc » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:While, as you pointed out Ulc, there is the clear and present fear of getting fired, during a recession, it sounds like the teachers were actually doing NOTHING. Not putting up any form of passive resistance, not 'helping how they could', etc.

It's hard to vilify every teacher in the county based on this article alone, because we don't know what was omitted. Maybe some teachers did stand up, were fired, and didn't want to be named or included in the article. There is a fairly apparent bias from reading it; just because most of us will agree wholeheartedly with it doesn't mean it isn't there, and doesn't mean a more thorough investigation isn't warranted.

Still, I was a bit shaken after reading the whole thing. I don't really have words to describe how fucked up a situation has to be for several kids in the same area to decide to take their own lives because of how they were treated (not to mention the many more who tried and failed, or were stopped, or seriously considered doing it).
Steax wrote:I don't mean to speculate, but I'd imagine that there's a portion of people who aren't openly gay, but feel just as threatened. I recall there being scientific studies on this. A 1:1 ratio of known and unknown sounds rather optimistic, even.

As mentioned in the article, multiple suicides in a localised area can lead to more suicides. Most of the first few were bullied because they were gay, or other students thought they were; after those, perhaps suicide looked like a way out to others who were struggling with their own issues. The article lacks any information about them, but that goes back to it having a specific angle and the writer making the conscious decision to omit that information.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Malice » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:05 pm UTC

Steax wrote:
Vaniver wrote:
There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied.
Hm. Why did the other five commit suicide?


I don't mean to speculate, but I'd imagine that there's a portion of people who aren't openly gay, but feel just as threatened. I recall there being scientific studies on this. A 1:1 ratio of known and unknown sounds rather optimistic, even.


That might explain some of them; there are also cases where, in an environment like that, even if you're not gay in the slightest, bullies can label you gay and bully you just as hard.
Image

User avatar
Steax
SecondTalon's Goon Squad
Posts: 3038
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Steax » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:26 pm UTC

Yeah, that's true; there's also likely the effect of having others suicide. Just saying that because some commenters are saying "but only half the suicides are related!"

Izawwlgood wrote:
Steax wrote:I'd infer from how teachers were given presentations and orders about how to deal with these kids, any teachers resisting would have been silenced or pushed aside. The fact that they were even giving these things seems to indicate that the teachers were already doing something the higher-ups didn't like.

Not at all; those presentations were in response to the rash of suicides.


Possibly, but those are clearly also attempts to further push teachers down that direction.
In Minecraft, I use the username Rirez.

User avatar
Ulc
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Ulc » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:33 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote: While, as you pointed out Ulc, there is the clear and present fear of getting fired, during a recession, it sounds like the teachers were actually doing NOTHING. Not putting up any form of passive resistance, not 'helping how they could', etc.


First of all, we don't know if any did do what little they could to help*, the article is very clearly slanted to make everyone that isn't the victims seem like complete monsters. And anyone that actually helped where they could certainly wouldn't be admitting to it, because that would be admitting that you disobeyed a clear directive, not a good thing to admit.

And it's not surprising that when pressed into a situation where the life they have built over the last 20-30 years, people tend to interpret rules on the conservative side, as you can't really get fired for over-obeying a rule, but disobeying certainly can get you fired - and I think you underestimate exactly how bad being fired is. The vast majority of teachers have commitments in some fashion, commitments that they flat-out can't risk, but which require a steady supply of money. Debt in the house, car and things like that to mention something, children to mention another.

It's a fucked up situation, and the people responsible are a reprehensible bunch of shitbags. But the teachers are not responsible, but rather a victims of religious people taking a fight where it should never have been taken, by using children as proxies in the fight.



*And it was certainly little, since they weren't allowed to say that it's unacceptable to bully people for being gay, as that would be the the same as saying that being gay is acceptable - and that is something they weren't allowed to say.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

Also keep in mind that in an environment where people are committing suicide for whatever reason, you're going to see an increase in suicides. In some part, it's probably a weak feedback loop.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Malice » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Both because it gets kids thinking about suicide as a way out; and because a rash of suicides is in itself a depressing, stressful thing.
Image

User avatar
buddy431
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:21 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby buddy431 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

The board looks like it's likely to change the policy. It's been in the local news a bit in the Twin Cities:

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/137936833.html

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/138015973.html

I think it's narrow minded to try to blame this all on a single policy, and that it's going to magically get better by changing it. There are many factors in play, from a generally economically depressed area, to a district where bullying hasn't been taken terribly seriously in general, plus the fact that multiple suicides are reinforcing, in addition to the neutrality policy. The school needs to take steps to make sure that any bullying is unacceptable, and also to step up counseling services. Luckily, it looks like the district is at least taking some steps in those directions.
Gellert1984 wrote:Also, bomb president CIA al qaeda JFK twin towers jupiter moon martians [s]emtex.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

I fully admit to being less than sympathetic to any adult in this school who isn't actively crusading to protect these kids, which is not an optimal position to hold if you want to see improvement from everyone.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Jessica » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:12 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Both because it gets kids thinking about suicide as a way out; and because a rash of suicides is in itself a depressing, stressful thing.

I think this needs to be said again. Possibly one more time.

Malice wrote:Both because it gets kids thinking about suicide as a way out; and because a rash of suicides is in itself a depressing, stressful thing.


And again.

Malice wrote:Both because it gets kids thinking about suicide as a way out; and because a rash of suicides is in itself a depressing, stressful thing.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

User avatar
Jave D
chavey-dee
Posts: 1042
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Jave D » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

Bachmann has publicly stated her opposition to anti-bullying legislation, asking in a 2006 state Senate committee hearing, "What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression?... Will we be expecting boys to be girls?"


When Sam's volleyball teammates' taunting got rough – barring her from the girls' locker room, yelling, "You're a guy!" – she simply stopped going to practice.


When Congresswomen can make bigotry their political campaign without consequences, is it any wonder that children will mimic them?

Whatever happens with this particular school, one should know that a source of this accepted form of bigotry in the US is alive, kicking, and screaming, and will continue to do so.

That's really all I can trust myself to say on the subject right now without suffering nerve damage.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:26 pm UTC

I think that Bachmann is most likely following the bigotry of her constituents, not the other way around.

But anyways: the teachers were aware that the consequences of their actions when it came to bullying could easily be life-or-death. If they chose to take a route that valued maybe having a better chance at protecting their jobs over potentially saving a child's life, or at least preventing him from being hospitalized, then I have no sympathy for that.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Bears!
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

Re: One towns war against gays. (trigger warning)

Postby Bears! » Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:15 am UTC

What a sad way for children to learn that adults fucking suck at protecting them. I hope that the school board is crushed for failing to even consider that actual children are at risk here. I hope someone sees that this stupid fucking political game cost children their lives and their sense of personal worth. Regardless of how "political" it might be, children should always be the first priority of adults in a school setting. FUCK THAT SHIT.

God damn it all, I am pissed.
"It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." - James Baldwin


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: iamspen and 10 guests