Parents’ reaction shows why bullying continues
On Nov. 16, The News published an article titled, “Assembly on bullying backfires.” As a parent of an Iroquois seventh-grader, I was shocked and disappointed by the response of parents and the Iroquois board and superintendent. Some parents were upset that an “openly gay speaker” talked about his experience being bullied in his school.
In fact, Jamie Nabozny won a lawsuit against his school for its lack of action. He has also been recently named a Defender of Human Rights by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. This man is a national hero. I am disgusted that a public school would actually state that it may have given the wrong message by allowing Nabozny to speak. Isn’t that discrimination?
What about the parents who claim that by inviting Nabozny to speak, the school was allowing him to “push his own agenda”? Fighting against bullying of the LGBTQ community is pushing his agenda? Or the father who claimed that bullying more often occurs for students who are overweight? Does that mean that LGBTQ students don’t have the right to stand up against being bullied?
I am disgusted that the parents of Iroquois students have not embraced the fact that our young adults are unique, impressive and talented, regardless of their sexual orientation. If we allow parents to “opt out” of assemblies that support our basic human rights, we are encouraging discrimination. I was so proud of my daughter when she came home from the assembly and told me about Nabozny’s talk. I was proud to be a member of the Iroquois community. After reading this article, I am now disappointed in our school district and saddened by the response of parents. It is no wonder that bullying continues.