Subject: strictly fyi: press releases, blogs & opinion columns
From: Julie Parmenter <>
Date: 3/15/2012 11:29 AM

Dear Safe Schools Coalition Members and Friends:



(1).  Ebonie Richardson, 16-year-old lesbian student who challenged the Anoka-Hennepin School District and won!

(2). Gay high school football player finds acceptance in rural America

(3).  Young college student's journey to her identity

(4). The battle over Bully's R rating rages on.  Katy Butler, a 17-year-old high school student from Michigan, delivered a petition (with more than 200,000 signatures) Wednesday to the Motion Picture Association of America's office in Sherman Oaks, California.




1). In Ebonie's words, "In 2011, I joined five other students in lawsuits challenging a district policy that made it hard for school staff to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming kids from bullies. The lawsuits were resolved last Monday, setting up changes that will make district schools safer for students like me.  The changes that are now on their way make me hopeful that other students€”today and in the future€”will never be humiliated or hurt by their school peers, and that through my experiences and action, others will be able to walk down the halls of their school, unafraid to be who they are.

I no longer have to look over my shoulder at school. I will be safe, just like every student deserves. I will hold my head high. I can be out, and proud.¯  Read the rest of the story here.


2).  I'm not publicly out for several reasons. I live in one of the most rural, conservative spots in the country, where homophobia runs rampant. I also happen to be the son of a prominent Southern Baptist preacher. My town, team and family make my situation fairly tough and I still face a lot of obstacles, including rumors being spread about me at school. But even here I have found acceptance and it's time for me to speak up.  Read More.


3).  Ashley, a sophomore Winona State University, in Winona, Minn., is part of a small population of transgender youth. While there are diverse forms of gender expression, transgenders do not identify with the gender roles they were born into. While teens and young adults are developing their identities, young transgenders add gender to the mix.  "The term transgender is a very broad term and can really include anything having to do with gender identity,€¯ said Brad Becker, executive director of the GLBT National Help Center.  "So that can include people who cross-dress and are comfortable with their biological gender, to people who are transsexual and know that the gender on the outside of their body is not correct and doesn't match the true gender they feel inside in their minds and hearts. More.


4).  Her message: Lower the MPAA rating of the upcoming Weinstein Company documentary from R to PG-13. Bully, a look at the rise of adolescent bullying in America, was rated R for some language -- specifically for the f-word, which is used a reported six times in the film. An R rating means that adolescents under the age of 17 -- the documentary's intended audience -- cannot see the film without an adult guardian.

Butler, who came out as a lesbian in middle school and has been the victim of repeated bullying, launched the online petition on February 26. Since then, she has been featured on CNN and Fox News, and was in the audience during today's taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, during which DeGeneres urged her viewers to also sign the petition.  More here.




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