Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's Elementary. Stop bullies.

I just saw this amazing documentary on LOGO about a film made in the 90's called It's Elementary. It's a teaching tool about LGBT people for grade school children. The most surprising part is that the filmmakers just simply asked the kids what they knew about gay people. The kids did most of the talking. And true to form, a third grader can tell you that to call somebody names and beat them up, when they didn't do anything wrong, is wrong. The film is not about "recruiting children" or "sexual behaviors". It's about gay people and growing up gay. I highly recommend it to anyone. See if your library has it. Or watch LOGO's website to see when it will come back on. The film has been shown in hundreds of schools, with parents included and has helped change a lot of minds.

Yet, the world is still not safe for LGBT children. They are bullied and taunted. Check out the information below:
I copied the following from the nmha website because this is a subject that I feel very strongly about. Kids being bullied. Kids being bullied for anything. But I especially care about LGBT youth. Read these statistics. Pass this along to a homphobic minister, group, school administrator, talk show host and ask them, no - tell them, to stop using these words.
Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk
While trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender (GBLT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.[1] Even more troubling, a study found that thirty-one percent of gay youth had been threatened or injured at school in the last year alone![2]
Their mental health and education, not to mention their physical well-being, are at-risk.
How is their mental health being affected?
Gay and lesbian teens are at high risk because ‘their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them,’ not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.[3]
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.[4]
How is their education being affected?
Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education.[5] They’re often embarrassed or ashamed of being targeted and may not report the abuse.
GLBT students are more apt to skip school due to the fear, threats, and property vandalism directed at them.[6] One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.[7]
Twenty-eight percent of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than three times the national average for heterosexual students.[8]
GLBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. According to several surveys, four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.[9]

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