You should too.
Wear purple on Wednesday as a way of demanding safe schools. Let people know why you are wearing purple. Teens gotta feel safe.
Specifically, in Alabama, the Student Harassment Prevention Act which was signed into law last year neglected to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression while offering protection for such things as race and religion as characteristics about which students should not be harassed or bullied. In other words, kids can get away with calling fellow students fag or queer or pansy until that kid begins to skip school or harms them self. But use a racial slur, or challenge someone's disability, and it stops right there.
"Oh, the gays are screaming again about a perceived problem that really doesn't exist," you might say.
A survey by the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition of Alabama high school students revealed some startling facts.
59% have been verbally harassed at school (called a derogatory word)
22% have been physically harassed
58% have had mean rumors or lies spread by other students
Remember, these are Alabama students. These actions have consequences.
34% felt unsafe at school
18% have skipped school because of harassment
60% report they have been unable to concentrate in classes
36% report they have had lower grades because of harassment
43% report they have had thoughts of suicide
These are students in our schools. 43% are thinking of suicide.
Harassment and bullying is affecting their grades.
And the problem is not just with other students.
29% felt that they had been treated unfairly by their teachers or administrators.
Over 50% reported problems with anger, self esteem issues, and increased problems interacting with peers. Significant numbers also report feelings of spiritual isolation, eating disorders and headaches.
It could be your kids, or your grand kids, or your niece or nephew being harassed. and it affects all the kids, not just the gay ones.
So do this.
First, go here to send a message to your state Senator. Over 180 messages have already been generated, including a good number from Bessemer. Priscilla Dunn will be getting the message, but I am 100% sure that she is already on the right side of this issue. But we want the Alabama Senators to know that they can fix this problem by passing an "upgrade" to the bill to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression..
2. Wear purple on Wednesday, and tell people why.
Now, you don't have to go this far. This Brit boy turned his whole self purple.
Now I am about to make a major upgrade to my laptop. So I may come back here tomorrow very happy, or I may not come back at all. But regardless, I'll be (wearing) purple.
And, I'm reminded of my favorite Deep Purple song from the days in my parent's basement when there was a smoky haze in the air. You might be more familiar with the Tina Turner version, or even Celine Dion, but this is the original, and the instrumentals at about the 3:00 mark are unbelievable.
River Deep Mountain High