October 12, 2010

Standing on Principal(s)

Awareness of the reality and dangers of bullying, especially of youth who identify as or are perceived as gay, lesbian or otherwise "a stranger in our midst" is coming to the fore in the wake of several recent tragic or horrific incidents. What can be done? A practical suggestion is to write your own senior- or junior-high principal, however long ago you were a student, and express your support for efforts at minimizing or eliminating bullying. A website has been devoted to assisting this process and collating comments and responses. A commendable idea.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Louie Crew

4 comments:

Andrewdb said...

May I also commend to you the recent statements from +Sisk and the joint statement of +Newark/+New Jersey. Both are outstanding.

Fred Schwartz said...

Tobias,
Thanks, as a principal I appreciate your concern -- like we do not already know??? Like we are just waiting for someone to write us in order to spur us to action??? Like we have been snoozing through the last 20 years??? ALike we haven't been working on this for the last 20 years???

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Fred,
Clearly some principals know, and have been working on this. Sadly, too many have not; and in a few cases have been enablers for bad behavior. I was astounded to see, at the website, a letter to a school -- from a former student -- where I thought this would be the last place with a problem along these lines. Complacency can be a major problem in such a place, where everyone assumes, "It couldn't happen here..."
But thanks for your own efforts, and those of the principals who have been working hard and raising consciousness. No one suggests the letters can't be letters of support!

Mary Clara said...

Tobias, thanks for the suggestion. I have written to the principal of the high school from which I graduated in 1959, and in which Matthew Shepard was a member of the class of 1995. My letter was not confrontational but supportive, expressing confidence in the school's leadership, but also recalling the terrors suffered by gay classmates in my own student days and (given the rash of recent tragedies) being frank about my concern for the youth of the nation today. I figure principals may be getting pressure from anti-gay constituencies or from people who believe the whole issue should be ignored; my letter is meant to support the leadership of my old school in supporting LGBT students and teachers in the face of such pressures. Hope it will be received in that spirit.

Fred, keep up the good work!