Education | Florida | Gay-Straight Alliances | News | Orlando

Bisexual Teen Fights for Gay-Straight Alliance in Florida as Homophobic Parent Compares it to a Gang: VIDEO


14-year-old Bayli Silberstein is leading the charge to get a Gay-Straight Alliance in place at Carver middle School which she attends because she says anti-gay bullying is out of hand. The Lake County School Board had a meeting on Monday afternoon, the Orlando Sentinel reports:

More than 100 parents, students, residents and a few pastors showed up at a Lake County School Board meeting Monday afternoon, many wearing red shirts to show support for a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance club at Carver Middle School in Leesburg...

The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting Bayli, saying that under the federal Equal Access Act schools can not discriminate among clubs based on what they think students should or should not discuss. If a school allows any student group that's not directly related to school curriculum to meet, then it cannot deny other student groups the same access.

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."

Watch the Orlando Sentinel's interview with Silberstein, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. are Glee clubs and film clubs gangs, too?

    or just groups of LGBT kids who empower each other?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 20, 2013 12:13:01 PM

  2. and kudos to this brave young woman. her integrity and strength are inspiring.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 20, 2013 12:14:28 PM

  3. Good for her. Stand up for your civil liberties everywhere, We are everywhere. ^_^ It does get better.

    Posted by: alexander | Feb 20, 2013 12:23:06 PM

  4. Lori Pitner wouldn't know a gang if one sat down on her lap and gave her a bigole wet kiss. In the face. With a chair.

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Feb 20, 2013 12:30:58 PM

  5. Incredibly brave young woman. Incredibly brave. This is what LGBTQ students are forced to deal with countrywide. Institutionalized homophobia. And Bayli Silberstein isn't going to let that hate continue on her watch without making noise about it.

    Only 14. This area of Florida, Lake County, is definitely conservative so it's not surprising this is occurring. The ACLU is already on the case and threatening to sue the school board so we'll see what happens. Email the Lake County school board superintendent and Carver Middle School principal and let them know why GSA's are so important and should be implemented!

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 20, 2013 12:58:37 PM

  6. Anythig which helps kids resist ullying by little thugs is to be appauded.
    She is brave and has more backbone than those parents who oppose the straight -gay club.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 20, 2013 1:32:26 PM

  7. This is awesome. No other words need to be said.

    And yes, she has every right to start that club. I don't even want to name drop some of the CRAZY clubs our school allowed.

    Posted by: Klien | Feb 20, 2013 1:34:26 PM

  8. All you GRUBS (Gay Republicans) should be ashamed that this kid has more balls than all of you put together !

    The reason so many gay kids are getting bullied is because gays are failing to STAND UP and be counted and the Republicans and religions are continuing to say it's OK to hate gay people.

    Gay bullying is a direct result of right wing policies.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Feb 20, 2013 2:09:58 PM

  9. and now this "brain trust" has given gays the bragging rights of being in a "gang" can add that to all the other crazy stuff we have been accused of.....these kind of comments do nothing but help us....keep it up

    Posted by: Bernie | Feb 20, 2013 7:27:48 PM

  10. I wish the Justice department would step in and support Gay-Straight Alliances in public schools just as the Justice department went after racist school districts in the 1960's and after. Lake county is one of those places in Florida which is absolutly fearful of change from the status quo. In communities full of bigotry such as this (I live nearby and know from experience) outside help is needed to protect people such as Bayli Silberstein (for who I have the greatest respect, speaking out for ones rights in a conservative community takes guts).

    Posted by: Marc | Feb 22, 2013 1:29:32 PM

Post a comment


« «DC Comics' 'Batwoman' Proposes to Her Girlfriend« «