Bullying | Gay Youth | Gay-Straight Alliances | Iowa | News

High School Senior Brings Focus to Iowa Bullying Bill

PerrinThe Cedar Rapids Gazette takes a look at anti-gay bullying in Iowa schools, focusing on the courageous story of high school senior Robert Perrin-Hayes who came out to his classmates when he was a sophomore, and immediately became the target of anti-gay bullying.

While giving a speech about bravery, he decided to come forward and tell his class, "I'm gay." That's when the bullying began, he said. Because of his disclosure, Perrin-Hayes was subject to a continual stream of taunts and physical threats.

Said Perrin-Hayes, who is now an activist for the Iowa Pride Network: "At first, I didn’t do anything because I was afraid. I don’t think teachers know how to deal with it. It should be the same as other kinds of harassment, but when you’re gay, it seems to be different."

PerrinhayesIowa is currently considering a "safe schools" anti-bullying bill that would protect students from harassment based on, among other things, sexual orientation. Perrin-Hayes will speak this Thursday at the Governor’s Conference on Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth, as he did at the first one which was held last year.

Perrin-Hayes and other courageous young adults deserve attention for the changes they are trying to make. Says Perrin-Hayes: "We all bleed, and when we do bleed, it’s red, believe it or not. Would I like to be run off the road, would I like to be shoved in the hallway? No. It’s not a choice. Nobody would choose to be treated like I am."

Protection Against bullies [cedar rapids gazette]

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  1. Good for him! STAND UP! Sad that the HRC will give awards to people like Reichen and Lance, but guys like this who are trying to make a change are over looked.

    Posted by: DW | Feb 20, 2007 12:00:20 PM

  2. I'm glad to see someone's trying to do something about the rampant homophobia in the white community.

    He's terrific. And brave.

    Posted by: SGR | Feb 20, 2007 12:37:46 PM

  3. he's a genuine Hero.

    Posted by: A.J. | Feb 20, 2007 12:55:53 PM

  4. What a brave kid. And shame on the teachers that don't know how to handle anti-gay harrassment.

    Posted by: David | Feb 20, 2007 12:57:30 PM


    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 20, 2007 2:57:55 PM

  6. Resources on young people's safety on the Internet, including cyberbullying, can be found at http://donwood.alablog.org/blog/_archives/2007/2/16/2741076.html.

    Posted by: Don Wood | Feb 20, 2007 3:53:14 PM

  7. Corageous guy who deserves a lot of support from his communities (gays, his school, etc.) I hope follow-up on his actions will continue.

    Posted by: gleeindc | Feb 26, 2007 6:56:11 AM

  8. A definite act of courage! WAKE-UP school administration and staff members who have no clue!

    Posted by: TREES | Feb 26, 2007 7:09:57 AM

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