The ACLU announced the creation of the Seth Walsh Project today. Seth was an 8th grade gay student in Tehachapi, a small town in the mountains east of Bakersfield, that hung himself when the bullying finally got to him. His familyalerted the school administrative staff and the school board many times, prior to Seth’s suicide, of the obvious and overt bullying by other students,but to no avail. I wrote about him here, in a post entitled Bullied to Death-Seth Walsh’s last words, and included the video at the end of this post.
The ACLU project’s goal is to combat bullying of gay students in California schools. From their website:
All students have a right to attend school in a safe learning environment, and their parents have a right to know their children will come home unharmed. But sadly, that is not the reality in California. Far too often, teachers and administrators discount–or worse, ignore entirely–incidents of violence happening right under their noses.
Today, the ACLU of Southern California announced the launch of theSeth Walsh Students’ Rights Project — a major new initiative aimed at combating bullying and discrimination in California schools, particularly harassment directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students.
Prompted by the September 2010 suicide of Seth Walsh, a 13-year old student at Tehachapi’s Jacobsen Middle School who endured years of anti-gay harassment at school, the Project will investigate incidents of harassment and discrimination; educate administrators and teachers of their responsibilities under both state and federal law to make sure all students have a safe learning environment; and work closely with LGBTQ students and their parents to ensure they have the same educational opportunities as their peers.
It’s about fucking time. As the ACLU states, schools have an obligation to protect their students from bullying..of any type. They are obligated to provide a safe learning environment.
They failed Seth. The fuckers in charge failed this child miserably and to that end..my hope is that the ACLU will be a beacon in the fight for a safe learning environment for all children in California’s schools.
I just wish it was a nationwide project..because we know it happens all over these United States of America, at all levels of education…and it has to stop. NOW.