Are Homosexuals Treated Fairly in School?
In the United States, the public school system is intended to provide a “free and equal” education to all students, regardless of their race, culture, religion, or sexuality.
However, many sociologists that study the structure of the American public school system find that there is a direct association between the social and the sexual status of the students in the public school system and the quality of the education provided. This association indicates that, while the public education system in the United States is supposed to provide identical educational standards for all students, that those students who are have not chosen to be a homosexual, will receive a better degree of education. In the 21st century parents have taught their children that homosexuals are “disgusting” and “a disgrace to humanity”. This teaching leads to major issues towards homosexuals in schools. Everyone from teachers to janitors may show discrimination towards homosexual students and teachers while in school. Homosexuals can be found in every race, religion, age group, country, state, and social group.
Discrimination toward homosexuals in school persecutes their choice of lifestyle and can result in their grades declining. People do not realize what they are doing when they treat people unfairly. In the movie “A Girl like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story” a young male named Eddie decided he liked being a girl rather than a boy at a young age. So when he became older he changed his name to Gwen and started to dress like a female. He had been getting discriminated against and harassed at school.
Sometimes the teachers would ignore him when he had a question. They never gave him the grade he deserved in class. This kind of treatment is intolerable. No one should have to go through this, especially at school which is supposed to be a so called “safe” place for children to go. An article in The New York Times also tells a story about a young man named Tyler Clementi who, after being tortured in school for being gay, decided to end his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. This suicide would not have happened if more of the heterosexual community were approving and respectful towards homosexuals.
To help prevent homosexual discrimination some states have gone as far as trying to pass a bill to restrict discrimination against homosexuals. In a 1997 article by the Los Angeles Times a Sacramento Assembly Committee passed a bill against homosexual discrimination towards students, teachers, and other school employees in all California schools. This was put into place after several homosexual students and teachers filed complaints about being treated unfairly in numerous situations. “A student leader from Northern California said he was threatened with death simply because he was gay.” This was just one of the many complaints filed against a student in these schools.
Then in another local newspaper in Chester County named Daily Local News an article states that their school board voted against protecting homosexuals from biases. School board Solicitor James Ellison stated, “there’s nothing to prevent the school board from treating them (homosexuals) as a protected class, but there’s nothing requiring it either,” Later he said, “although it’s possible homosexual advocacy groups could file suit against the school district for this decision, state law makes it unlikely they would win.” By stating this he sounded as if he was also against the homosexual community. This statement was completely unprofessional and bias. Another article from Congressmen Jared Polis’s blog –who is also against homosexual discrimination- stated, “Every day innocent students fall victim to relentless harassment and discrimination from teachers, staff, and fellow students based on their sexual orientation,” said Polis.
“These actions not only hurt our students and our schools but, left unchecked, can also lead to life-threatening violence. Like Title VI for minorities in the 60s and Title IX for women in the 70s, my legislation puts LGBT students on an equal footing with their peers, so they can attend school and get a quality education, free from fear.” From the looks of things every state in America has different opinions on how homosexuals should be treated in education. Serious consequences came along with the passage of proposition 8, which revised the California state constitution to ban gay marriage. Not only is the new law a devastating blow to the civil liberties of homosexuals, but it has also served as a license of hate and hostility toward those who are openly gay.
It is especially obvious in high schools throughout the state. The American Civil Liberties Union is in the process of suing Corona Del Mar High School for hate crimes against a lesbian student. Although three football players have threated to rape and kill the young woman in a video, school administrators have failed to take any action to protect the girl, or punish those who threatened her. Earlier this year, the high school banned the play “Rent” because of its homosexual content and characters. The high school later rescheduled production after facing criticism for the play’s cancellation. The American Civil Liberties Union claims that Corona Del Mar High School is adopting a homophobic and sexist atmosphere.
The organization has also released a statement indicating that school officials did little to punish the boys or protect the girl, even though the girl’s parents expressed great concern over their daughter’s safety. The American Civil Liberties Union believes the high school is approving violent behavior toward gays and lesbians. But school officials insist they are doing their best to resolve the matter. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Superintendent, Jeffery Hubbard says “These allegations are very serious and the district will utilize its best efforts to ascertain the truth of these matters, as well as to be sure these are procedures to promptly resolve discrimination and harassment disputes.” American Civil Liberties Union claim the statement to be “very suspicious”, because Newport-Mesa school district quickly takes action after they (American Civil Liberties Union) filed a lawsuit against them. Prior to the lawsuit, not much action was taken at all.
Homosexual discrimination has gotten out of control and no one knows how to calm it down. Schools are constantly trying to keep the issue under the rug so their school does not get a bad reputation, but if the situations are constantly over looked and ignored then they will just get worse. There have been over 15 suicides since last year and they are all results of straight students harassing and taunting the gay students. Dan Savage states,” Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids. (Savage par.
8)” I believe ever school in America should adopt a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at their schools so that when there is an issue with homosexuals getting harassed they can have a “shoulder to lean on”. Also I feel that schools should, instead of overlooking harassment complaints, give in to them and make the people that are distributing the harassment an example for the other students. Punishments should get harsher, so students know that harassment is not a joke, but it is something serious that can resolute to death or major physiological harm. Homosexual discrimination is a common issue in every school that needs to be put to a stop. ?