Reading through the news from other states concerning book bans in libraries and other issues involving some conservative views impacting schools, I gave our community a brisk pat on the shoulder for our openness to accepting a vast array of beliefs. My children are supported in our schools and LGBTQ and trans are accepted by teachers and peers according to those same children. But I congratulated my community too soon apparently since I read in the Fallon Post that an anonymous parent complained about a site supporting LGBTQ and transgender kids and low and behold the site comes down, supposedly for review. Well, how wonderful that one parent can have the power to decide what is made available to my children. I can only imagine should I complain about the dangers of football and teams throughout the county will be disbanded for review. Our school board gives such power to a parent. My how blessed we parents are.
The Trevor Project supports teens who are finding their individual sexuality. Let's be quite clear here - THEIR sexuality, not the one their parent might prefer. There are precious few resources and little anonymity for teens seeking help in a small town. This site gives kids a place to get answers from people who deal with the issues LGBTQ teens face and have the counseling experience necessary for those kids. I'm sorry to say not all parents are as loving and supportive of their children as Kate Morris, who feels she is the best advocate for her child. That's wonderful. But not all parents are wonderful. My child told me that a boy in class at the middle school was telling the class that he hated gay people and if he were gay his family would kick him out. He went on to say that if he had a gay child, he'd do the same. So not all families are accepting and loving. Imagine if this child should have a gay child and how hopeless that child would feel when all he meets is hate and loathing. Imagine how degrading it is for an LBGTQ teen to read that the school board didn't opt to support them, but immediately disavowed their issues and took the site where they can seek help. School board members, you have not just disappointed me which will create no lasting harm as I am old and if I haven't determined my sexual identity by now it probably won't happen, but more IMPORTANTLY you have clearly and loudly told all the LGBTQ and trans teens in this district their issues aren't important to you. You have not stood for them when you had the chance. You have not asked what they need. You've just swept them under the carpet where you don't have to be bothered with them or their problems.
It's time to make the hard decisions. And in some cases the unpopular decisions. The CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project stated, " 'We must recognize that LBGTQ young people face stressors simply for being who they are that their peers never have to worry about.'" Have we done all we can to protect the LBGTQ community or have we just turned our backs. "'Although our data continues to show high rates of mental health and suicide risk, among LGBTQ young people, it is crItical to note these rates vary widely based on the way LBGTQ youth are treated.'" (Dr. A. Price, Senior research scientist at The Trevor Project.
Well, in closing, school board members and parents, are you going to give LBGTQ teens the support you give to the rest of Churchill County teens or are you going to cave to the pressure from those who see only their children and not those who are different in homes that don't always support those differences? Have any of you taken the time to just talk with a LBGTQ or trans student off the record and listened to their views? Perhaps it's time you did.
Views expressed in letters to the editor, and by writers in the commentary and opinion sections are their own and do not necessarily reflect the point of view of The Fallon Post. We support and encourage a vigorous, public debate and polite, public discourse as a normal, sacred part of American civic life. Please send letters, commentary, or opinion pieces to [email protected]
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