Crowd Gathers To Support 14-Year Old Trying To Start GSA

Administrators in a Florida school district want to do away with after-school clubs rather than allow students to form a gay-straight alliance.

As a result, dozens of students, parents and community members came to a meeting of the Lake County School Board on Monday wearing red “Standing with Bayli” shirts in support of 14-year-old eighth-grader Bayli Silberstein, who’s beeing trying to get a GSA started at Carver Middle School in Leesburg.

After being rejected last academic year, she reapplied in November—but never heard back from the principal.

Silberstein, who says she “expected more from adults” has the support of the ACLU. But she doesn’t have the full backing of her classmates.  The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Others spoke out against the alliance, saying the real issue is bullying. Students, they said, would not find the support they need in a gay-straight group.

“It’s like gangs,” said Lori Pitner, a Tavares resident who spoke in opposition. “More kids in gangs end up killed than are not in gangs. I don’t see this as any different.”

Lori Pitner is obviously a product of America’s poor educational system.

Four school-board members have spoken in favor of a ban on clubs not tied to schoolwork all for middle schoolers. One even claimed gay-straight clubs were tantamount to “social engineering.”

You mean trying to make a better class of young people? You’re damn right it is.

If you had any doubts as to whether Lake County needs GSAs, just two years ago a teacher told his students that gay men and women should be allowed to openly serve  in the military “only if they were sent to the front lines with no weapons.”



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One Comment

  • Chad Hunt

    Here we are again. It is 2013 and a country that was based on the principals of freedom is still not only oppressing part of the citizenry, but we are making DAMN sure that the next generation is as well. Within the past few weeks we have had several LGBT teen suicides, a TEACHER in Indiana, (Diana Medley), say that members of the LGBT community, “have no purpose in life” and wants to hold a “traditional” Prom banning LGBT students, conservative talk show host, Janet Mefferd, saying, “gay rights shouldn’t “trump” christian rights, marriage equality bills across the country, both in favor and in opposition of, members of the LGBT community denied services at local businesses, and schools closing down after school clubs so as to not have to allow LGBT students equal opportunity.

    The funny thing is, this isn’t even a rarity. These are the normal headlines the LGBT community faces every week and has been for decades. I often wonder how other minority leaders can sit back and say that the LGBT struggle for civil rights is nothing compared to what they had to face. I often wonder how those, who themselves were once oppressed, can take it upon themselves to continue to condone the oppression of others. I wonder greatly how schools, who are supposed to educate our children and mold them into the next generation of citizens and workers can continue to suppress part of the student body.

    The only way we are ever going to truly change this country is through education. It is time the Federal Government took control of this situation and put a stop to all of these injustices and make a better tomorrow for all of the citizenry. In order to do this we need a new mandatory, comprehensive, social studies course on the elementary, middle, and high school level that teaches an age appropriate understanding for the acceptance (NOT TOLERANCE) of Racial, Ethnic, Gender, Sexuality, Body Image, Religion, Disability, & Social Class differences.

    When are we as a people going to stand no longer for these types of discriminatory practices? When is the Federal Government and Department of Education going to wake up and understand that school systems across our country need to follow the same types of curriculum. A country divided against itself can not stand. How can we in various parts of our country teach our children differing concepts of equality and social responsibility and expect our country to come together as a whole?

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