Monday, August 31, 2015

When The School Is Lax About Bullying

o.k.  School has started.  School bullies do not need orientation.  They are hard at work harassing their victim, your gay children, 24 /7.  Your school downplays your child’s horrific experience. You are lucky that your child has come to you with her concerns.  Many are afraid to tell grown-ups as they may be considered tattling or be accused of “asking for it.”

What’s a parent to do?  If you have reached out to your child’s teacher and received a disinterested response, don’t be deterred.  Under state laws, most schools are required to develop policies about bullying.  However, that doesn’t mean the school staff has received training related to their district’s bullying prevention policy. Or they pay attention to messages of inclusion in posters on the brick school walls. Know your school’s policy before you try to get positive reinforcement from it.

How To Get Cooperation for Bullying

You need all adults: parents, teachers, administrators, law enforcement, media to work together as champions for your children.  Continue to contact other school personnel in a chain of command.  If the teacher is uncooperative, call the guidance counselor, school social worker, principal.  If your needs are still not satisfied, contact the PTO, the school board, the superintendant, and if you’re concerned about your child’s safety, call the local police!

Get the Word Out!

Talk to your friends about what is going on.  Reach out to other parents.  Take your message online.  Find the blogging community for support, guidance, and practical advice.

Act Like A Court Stenographer!

To keep all involved parties organized, informed and goal-directed:

Document your child’s incidents of bullying.
Record as much detail as you can.
Prior to meeting with school personnel, write down your goals for the conversation.
Make notes on whom you spoke to at school.
Write down their responses, word for word.
After meeting, put in writing any agreed upon resolutions.
Request that all involved parties signed the document to indicate their agreement.
Keep at it!

Resources to Help You:

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN),
Family Equality .org.
The Stonewall national education project
Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Friday, August 21, 2015

The 4R's: Reading, 'Riting, "Rithmetic, and Regulation

School is starting soon.  You’ve probably starting putting the kids to bed earlier so they will be in sync with school hours, maybe having them read an hour a day to get them used to books and not other kinds of texts?

Unfortunately, phone texting is all too familiar with students and is here to stay.  In some cases, that’s fine, but it’s one easy tool that allows for invasion for the cyberbully   Each school year brings fresh, nasty messages that don’t stop at recess but are ubiquitous.

Know The Signs of Cyberbullying

But many who experience cyberbullying don’t tell anyone about it.  They’re afraid that the bully will retaliate if punished, that they will be regarded as causing the harassment.

Did you know that cyberbullying impacts at least 1out of 5 middle and high school students, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center?

If your child will not tell you that he/she is being bullied, how are you supposed to know?  Here are the telltale signs provided by

Does your child unexpectedly stop using his telephone/computer?
Does he/she appear to be angry, depressed or frustrated after going online?
Does he/she appear uneasy about going to school?
Does he/she become abnormally withdrawn?
Does he/she avoid discussion about what he/she is doing online?
Does he/she become unusually secretive, especially secretive, especially when it comes to online activities?

What to Do If Your Child Is Bullied

Talk and listen.

Get facts such as how long the child has been feeling this way. Has there been a past conflict between your child and student?  Ask for evidence.

Encourage the child not to retaliate but tell the offender how he/she is feeling.

Tell someone at school.  All U.S. schools should have a bullying policy that covers cyberbullying.

Contact police if there are physical threats.

Use caution in contacting parents of the bully.  They may be bullies themselves and will just make the student even angrier.

You can meet with the school administration if the bully and your child attend the same school.

Follow up.  Ask for a follow-up conference if there was a meeting between the bully and the victim.  What were the results of the meeting?  How will the school monitor and support the victim?

Take measures online by setting up privacy controls.  Block the bully on all social media.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How Much Gay Wedding Cake Would A Straight Baker Chuck If A Court Says He Could?

 How Much Gay Wedding Cake Would A  Straight Baker Chuck If A Court Says He Could?

The answer to this riddle is none.  As of  August 13th, baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado has to bake cakes for same-sex couples whether he approves or disapproves of their marriages.  So sayeth a state appeals court in Colorado.

Jack Phillips cannot use religious beliefs as an excuse for not making cakes for gays any longer. Phillips contends, however, that he is not discriminating against gays because he also will not bake Halloween cakes for he associates Halloween with Satan.

The complaint that was filed under Colorado law which bars discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation was filed by a gay couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins in July of 2012. The Colorado Civil Rights Administration as well as an administrative law judge ruled that this is illegal discrimination because “the same-sex marriage was so intrinsically related to the plaintiffs’ sexual orientation.”

The decision stated that no one would interpret Masterpiece’s providing a wedding cake for a same-sex couple as an endorsement of same-sex marriage. Instead, it’s a compliance with Colorado public accommodations law.  Baker Jack Phillips is entitled to his opinions on same-sex marriage which can differ from his same-sex customers’s viewpoints, the Colorado Appeals Court ruled.

Refusal to Comply with U.S. Supreme Court 's Decision on Gay Marriage

Ever since the June U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in every state, cases like this one are cropping up. In New Mexico, Oregon, and the state of Washington, fines have been levied against a photographer, a baker, and a florist for refusing to provide business for same-sex weddings.  Probably lawyers will appeal the decision which these religious owners claim is a violation of their First Amendment rights?  Is this the same concept as forcing a Catholic School to provide contraception?

What do you think?  Are businesses disguising their homophobia by couching it in terms of their religious beliefs?  Are you harming others by denying them the same services as heterosexuals?  Is an objection to same-sex marriage the same as discrimination against a gay person?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Five More Things Not to Say To Your Gay Child

Exactly a month ago, I wrote a post about five things you should not say to a gay child. See
Since then, I have either heard or read about common remarks (malapropos) that may not be intended as insensitive, but come across that way.

“That’s So Gay!”  School kids, in particular, hear this all the time, according to GLSEN (Gay, Straight, Education Network). They don’t need to hear it at home, too! The phrase can be translated to that’s inferior!  You don’t want to apply this to anyone, gay or straight.

You were just dating Johnny!” Some gays and lesbians know they are gay as youngsters, some realize their orientation when they hit puberty, still some don’t know until they are adults.  There is no right age for coming out.  Most gays/lesbians, probably hoping they were cisgender or heterosexual  have probably dated the opposite sex, at some point in their lives.

“You’re Too Young To Know!” If your child tells you he/she is gay, believe them.  They have the feelings toward the same-sex, you don’t. Even if they think they’re gay because they are experimenting with the same-sex, as straight persons do, and they could be mistaken, don’t correct them.  Time will tell!

So, Now You’re Bisexual!” Bisexuality gets a bum rap.
The straight population erroneously thinks it means you’re promiscuous because you’re engaging in sex with both males and females.  Society wants the bisexual to choose to be either straight or gay.  But truth is, there does exist bisexuality as a sexual orientation.

“You need to go to church more!” You can’t “pray-the-gay” away. Reparative or conversion therapy doesn’t work – in fact, a few states have outlawed it.  It usually makes the gay person feel worse, resulting in low self-esteem, guilt, and even suicide.  It is a temporary fix that is caused by bullying, usually from religious organizations.