Bisexual | Bullying | Education | News | Vermont

Hundreds of Students Stage Sit-In, Rally Around Bullied Bisexual Teen: VIDEO


Hundreds of students at Essex High School in Vermont came together in a show of support for Cole Peterson (pictured), a freshman who was beat up by two students because he is bisexual. staging an all-day sit-in last Friday, WCAX reports:

Students spent the day participating in workshops addressing bullying, creating signs to show their support and sharing their own stories of bullying and being bullied. "We've learned about terms for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, transvestites. We're putting out a strong message that they're just human beings and they're not something to be against," said Thomas Titus, an Essex freshmen.

Essex High School principal Rob Reardon says he'll handle concerns over classroom attendance next week. He stresses Friday's sit-in is just a start to tackling bullying behavior on and off school grounds. "The bottom line is, students have the capability and the power to stop this behavior -- because this is 24-7, through the summer, on weekends, as well as being here at school," Reardon said.

Watch a video report on the sit-in and interview with Peterson, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a wonderful display of support, and a beautiful young teenage guy.

    Posted by: Jeff | Nov 7, 2011 1:42:54 PM

  2. Wow! These kids are our future. That got me all warm & fuzzy. Thanks!

    Posted by: Married in MA | Nov 7, 2011 1:53:53 PM

  3. The negative=incidents like this continue to happen in the first place.

    The positives=FINALLY, students/teachers/parents/etc. are speaking out against harassment against LGBT children and taking a stand against it. And finally, the issue is coming out in the open.

    In these smaller towns, where the culture is straight-laced and conformity is the norm, homophobia has always festered under the surface. Now that more kids are taking the brave step to be out at younger ages, that homophobia is exposing itself, which is unfortunate. But the positive is that the issue of homophobia is being discussed and people are having to take accountability of their homophobia. Hopefully this is a trend that continues.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 7, 2011 2:12:11 PM

  4. What a wonderful display of support & an also wonderful bit of evidence that not school admiinstrators are eitehr obstructive or even worse sources of problems. Definitely a feel good story we needed. I do honestly think that someday the battles will be won.

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 7, 2011 2:41:46 PM


    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Nov 7, 2011 2:53:40 PM

  6. He looks just like that guy in the Woodstock movie.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 7, 2011 5:52:55 PM

  7. Proud of my fellow VTers for standing up against bullying to help make It Get Better NOW for LGBT teens--this so would not have happened when I was in high school in VT.

    PS: the WCAX newscaster on this is gay and has done some award-winning reporting on transgender issues in VT.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 7, 2011 7:48:16 PM

  8. This is great to hear. I know I'm echoing sentiments already expressed, but it is a wonderful sign of the upcoming generations that they are doing this.

    The cultural climate (in some places) has changed so much for the better even in the brief time since I've been gone from high school.

    Posted by: Vincent | Nov 7, 2011 11:48:04 PM

  9. What an inspiring example of how a community can unambiguously express its support for a vulnerable member. And how sweet that the example is from my home town.

    Posted by: Doug | Nov 8, 2011 12:32:11 AM

  10. Oh sweet! And how very refreshing indeed....

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Nov 8, 2011 3:18:01 AM

  11. It is so refreshing to finally see coverage of anti-bisexual bullying and our efforts to address it. Usually people forget that there is a B in LGBT, but maybe that is changing.


    Posted by: AlterPride Project | Nov 14, 2011 2:34:34 PM

  12. This is how it will end, not through legislation, not through force, but when good people choose to say something instead of sit on the sidelines.

    When bullying gay kids or fat kids or nerdy kids or outsiders becomes "uncool" instead of part of some sort of social norms is when it will end.

    Bravo, kids. Bravo. Way to show the adults how it is done!

    Posted by: Rin | Nov 14, 2011 2:53:12 PM

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