Instituting programs to end bullying in schools.Edit
Young people are often targeted because they are identified as LGBT or because others label them as such. One young lesbian in Pittsburgh was pelted with food and coins at lunchtime when others heard about her sexual orientation. Another young lesbian was threatened through phone calls and notes for many months because other girls judged her as lesbian because she did not date boys. An effeminate eighth grade boy in our county was regularly knocked down and tripped in the hallways and continually verbally abused. In every case, too little was done too late. We need strong programs to prevent bullying, to counsel bullies and the youngsters who are bullied, and to ensure that all school staff act quickly and appropriately when they witness bullying situations. Scientific data clearly show that HIV, drug and alcohol problems, mental health problems and other health problems are more common among people who had experienced verbal, sexual, and/or physical abuse as children or young people. Ending bullying will not only enrich the lives of young people who are currently being victimized but may dramatically reduce future health problems.
LGBT people face many problems and we believe the three situations cited above need immediate and strong advocates. We also believe that our efforts to solve these problems will be successful if our community speaks with one voice as we advocate for change.
- Cyber bullies targeted Post-Gazette, July, 2006, Board lists issue among 41 proposals for legislative platform. The Mars Area school board would like to see the state tackle cyber bullying, reform the public employees' pension law and call for changes to No Child Left Behind.
- Bullies take intimidation to cyberspace in the Post-Gazette, June, 2006. Using computers, cell phones, they can inflict pain without having to catch victims in the schoolyard