Standing Up For Each Other
Last month Jay McDowell, a teacher Howell High School in Michigan, was suspended for telling an anti-gay bully to shut it. At a recent school board meeting, a student, openly gay 14 year-old Graeme, came to McDowell’s defence with this well articulated speech:
After McDowell was disciplined for telling a student, who said “I don’t support fags” to remove a confederate flag belt buckle (because it represented racism) while defending the purple clothing of Spirit Day, Howell administrators insisted McDowell was at fault for infringing on students’ First Amendment rights.
Not cool, Graeme declared in front of the school board at a packed meeting on Monday. Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Graeme told board members about how their district isn’t just home to the KKK (Grand Wizard Robert Miles lived nearby before he died), but to intolerant students who drove him, at the age of nine, to attempt suicide.
What McDowell tried to do, says Graeme, was move the needle ever so slightly in the other direction and defend LGBT kids who have found hallway torment to be status quo. "The best thing you can do right now is just give him his pay for that day, and just reverse the disciplinary actions," he told the school board. "He did an amazing thing. He did something that’s inspired a lot of people. And whenever — ever — I have a teacher stand up for me like that, they change in my eyes. I support Jay McDowell, and I hope you do too."
Other students also supported McDowell at the meeting — an estimated 100 attended, many clad in purple — though it’s not as if the school board’s president had much of a response. [via Queerty]