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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm annoyed.

According to Elizabeth over at Sex in the Public Square, a high school in South Carolina is in an uproar over a student-formed Gay-Straight Alliance. Apparently it was a struggle to get the GSA approved, as evidenced by the school principal announcing his resignation last month after the district ruled that the GSA must be allowed. Nice, huh?

So, the good news is: These high school students rock, and they have their GSA. The bad news is: The school board is considering new rules that would make all students have to get signed parental consent to join the group (or any other "student-initiated non-curricular activities"). Clearly, this poses a problem for any youth who needs some support but is not ready to come out to family members. And that's not all. These student groups also aren't allowed to have teachers or outside organizations involved. So, even if some students get signed notes, they'll be meeting with no adult guidance or support. Hmm, guess they'll have to find all their info on the Internet — because that's certainly more trustworthy than a teacher.

When I hear stories like these, I am reminded how much time I spend in my little, happy bubble where queer-culture is just part of the world at large (and a great part, at that). These adults in South Carolina really want to make it difficult for queer youth to get support. That is so fucked up! But, we can help. Click on over SITPS and join a letter-writing campaign to the members of the school board. They will meet again on June 23, so hurry!

I've spent some time reminiscing this morning about when I helped formed the GSA at my high school. We were deemed a "campus in crisis," took two days off from classes and brought in speakers to calm everyone down. I thought those were the "good old days," but apparently this crap still happens.

And one final note to the high school students who formed the GSA: You are amazing and awesome. Keep rockin' with your bad selves. Luckily, high school doesn't last forever.


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