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Tyler

December 1999

I wanted to take time this month to tell you what I think about the school system, and how easily they get swayed from what is right. I'm sure it happens everywhere, just as it did here. It really is a shame to see people so scared to take on the "Religious Right" that they give up, and quit fighting for what they the believe. It makes you wonder what the conservative religious right in our country has become. Perhaps they are no longer simply a God-fearing group of people to who claim to have higher and truer morals than the rest of us, but rather a bully who uses God's name to fight equality and freedom. It's become their way or no way lately. Where will it end?

I omitted all names to protect the Conservative hypocrites. As you will read, I am a much better person than they, at least I am willing to protect those I don't like!

In my school system, which shall remain unnamed, we were finally going to pass a policy to protect gay staff and students from discrimination and harassment. Everything was going great. The school board unanimously voted in favor of the policy. Unfortunately, it was only the preliminary vote, and the final vote was not to take place for another month.

Outraged by the first vote, the religious right stepped in to crush those who believed in equality and protection for gay students and teachers. The religious right had organized a campaign to stop the policy in its tracks. They had people complain to the school board, give passionate speeches about how wrong and sinful homosexuality is, and how the policy would corrupt the system, giving gays protection. The extreme measures taken by the right, forced the board to get legal advice about the policy and it's repercussions. The legal advice was to remove homosexuals from the anti-discrimination, anti-harassment policy. The right had won, yet again. The Board, fearing the religious right, voted 3-2 to exclude homosexuals from the policy. Even with all the effort put forth by former students and parents who had gone through the worst, Local High School guidance counselors, PFLAG, and other gay-rights groups, there was nothing that could overcome the pressure of the Right. A Pastor from a local Baptist church made a comment after the final vote was announced. He said he was upset and worried, that only 3 of the board members were against the homosexual cause, and the policy was only one vote away from going in effect.

A statement made by one Mother, whose gay son had attended High School in the district, summed it up. She stated that the Board sent out the same message, that the gay students and teachers here must continue to hide. As proof of her opinion, the regional newspaper was unable to find ANY gay students or staff that was willing to come forth and give their opinion. I would imagine they fear the same thing I do. They fear not only for their safety, but also their ability to live in peace.

So, as it stands right now, homosexuals have no protection from discrimination or harassment in this school system.

Is the Religious Right simply a bully out to fight the people in this world who demand peace, equality, and the freedom to be themselves? The answer is not in black and white, but in my mind, the answer is without much doubt, yes. It would take a lot for me to believe the Religious Right is anything more than a group of people filled with hatred and prejudice.

Thank you for taking the time to see what I have to say!

Best Wishes,

Tyler
ironic_tragedy@hotmail.com

Tyler is a high school student in Florida. He receives a great deal of comfort through music, which in this case happens to be Metal. He also enjoys the theatre, creative and expressive writing, spending time in the outdoors, and reading such as Shakespeare and Poe.


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