Caleb Laieski, the 15-year-old gay hero who made news last year when he claimed bullying and death threats at his Arizona high school went ignored by teachers, is putting Arizona schools on notice: Ignore anti-gay torment, and I’ll have your ass sued.
Caleb, who came out in eighth grade and attends Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, Arizana, outside Phoenix, founded his own gay advocacy group at age 13. It’s called Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination (GLUAD). And he’s been working to make sure other kids around the country don’t have to be told they’re a “fucking faggot,” and don’t have to be ignored by school administrators — as he was. So he’s emailed letters to 5,000 school administrators, lawmakers, and city council members putting them on notice that anti-bullying policies must be instituted; otherwise there could be “legal ramifications.”
Not that Caleb wants to sue, he says. “This is more not to threaten a lawsuit but to put resources out there. But if they don’t want to cooperate, there’s going to be consequences.” As there should be.
Like a lawsuit from ACLU Arizona? While Caleb worked with the group in his own matter with the Dysart Unified School District, the organization is tight lipped about whether it’ll work with Caleb in suing other schools that ignore student torment. But that doesn’t matter to Caleb, who says his two-person organization (he works with friend Casey Cameron, 35, in Chicago) is prepared to launch legal action if necessary.
When I hear about young people like Caleb, who are doing instead of just talking, and who are so confident in their own person that they aren’t afraid to go nationwide in the interests of protecting other kids … well, I just get tingles.