Friday, June 26, 2009

SVPA Awaits Gov. Perdue's Signature

Hey folks... We've been remiss in updating this site recently.

Thanks to the amazing effort by the entire coalition and supporters like you, the House on Tuesday passed the School Violence Prevention Act by a vote of 58-57. It now goes to Gov. Perdue, who has said she will sign the bill.

Your calls, emails, and in-person lobbying had a real effect. Together we have helped make NC schools safer for all children, regardless of difference.

Check out the story at the Charlotte Observer or get Equality NC's take.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

SVPA Passes NC Senate! On to the House!

Yesterday afternoon the NC Senate voted 26-22 to pass the School Violence Prevention Act. Sen. Julia Boseman did an amazing job presenting the bill and fending off negative amendments during Wednesday's debate on the bill.

Thanks to Sen. Boseman, the 26 Senators who voted for safer schools, and all of the amazing members of this coalition!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take Action Now!

The School Violence Prevention Act will be heard on the Senate floor TOMORROW, April 30!

We need your help!

Please take action now to tell your senator to vote for the bill and making schools safer for all students.

Don't wait. Act now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

J's Story

I started being bullied in the 6th grade. I was called a “faggot” on a daily basis from 6th grade until I graduated High School. Classmates in my gym class used to pull their penises out of their underwear in the locker room, put them in my face, and [say very vulgar things], they would also put their naked buttocks in my face as well. All these things that happened to me on a daily basis made me NOT want to go to school at all!

I was so embarrassed, and scared to tell anyone what was happening to me. I did not even tell my own family and what little friends I had what was happening to me on a daily basis. I would skip school on a regular basis, and was in danger every year of being failed due to missing too many days, before I would skip school I would tell my Mom that I was sick so I didn’t have to go. When that didn’t work anymore I would just skip class/school to avoid the ongoing torment I faced at school. Many teachers heard the comments made to me, but they did nothing, one even laughed with the offenders. I felt there was nowhere for me to turn. Oddly enough I had not come out of the closet to anyone at this point, I was too scared to. I had no knowledge of the life of a gay male in NC, as I had no role models to turn to, and no information available on the subject. I ended up trying to be straight, you can probably figure out how that worked out. I was very unhappy with my life, and contemplated suicide on many occasions while attending school due to the everyday torture I went through.

I hope that this information, as painful for me to write to you, makes a difference for a youth today. If this helps even one child it is worth it to me to share this story with you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Alexander's Story

For me, the bullying got bad starting in grade school. In first grade, I got picked on because I was different and due to the fact that I had mental illness. I was also an easy target. One of the ways this affected me was that I would be very depressed and angry and with my mental illness, this was not helpful. Although the problem was not only within the school building, but also on the bus, there would be older kids waiting to pick on me there. Those same kids would pick on me at the bus stop and in the neighborhood. When I was picked on at the bus stop and the neighborhood, they would sometimes physically bully me.

This bullying continued into second grade. By then, the combination of bullying and mental illness got bad enough that I thought about suicide and how terrible my life was. I developed a habit of looking down at the ground so I would not see the kids bullying me, a habit even now in high school I have trouble with even though I am no longer being bullied. The bullying continued into third grade, although it did improve. I was put in a self-contained class which I started to make friends in and although I was still bullied it had improved a lot. Also, by third grade, I was no longer really depressed. The situation slowly improved over into fifth grade and after that bullying, for me, was no longer one of my bigger problems.

Special thanks to the Disabled Young People's Collective for gathering these stories.