StudentsFirst Stands with 11-Year-Old Marcel Neergaard Against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Author


The other day we told you about 11-year-old Tennessee student Marcel Neergaard and his petition to have StudentsFirst rescind their award to Rep. John Ragan. Today, StudentsFirst responded, and they stand with Marcel. In a statement on their blog, Michelle Rhee wrote:

Protecting our children is a top priority. Without safe learning environments, children can not realize their full potential. At StudentsFirst we believe that strongly, which is why, today, we stand with Marcel in support of the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act and will support similar measures in our active states. We encourage legislators across the country to support these measures to protect kids from bullying and discrimination as well.

In addition to giving Marcel their explicit support, StudentsFirst has stated that they are supporting the TN Dignity for All Students Act and have rescinded their "Education Reformer of the Year" award from Rep. Ragan, co-sponsor of the "Don't Say Gay" bill and "Classroom Protection Act," which would require teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents and refer them to a psychologist.

(image and story via GLAAD)



  1. UFFDA says

    This angel is the good future as well as the present. May he prosper. I think he will.

  2. Francis #1 says

    StudentsFirst also will continue to lobby and financially support anti-gay candidates because they’re an organization that, up to this point, has pandered to Republicans and conservative Democrats.

    Marcel is amazing. He definitely has a very bright future ahead of him; on twitter, his family tweeted he was very happy and proud, and wanted to celebrate with some ice cream! Adorable kid, very well spoken, and incredibly tough and brave. Us adults can learn from him. Good on him on beating back the bigot politician in Tennessee, over 50,000 signatures in 3+ days on his petition! People power still works!

  3. Teach Me Tonight says

    Ick. I’m not sure I want to be on the same side of anything with Michelle Rhee. She’s as slimy as they come.

  4. brian says

    A right-wing corporatist lobbying group doesn’t deserve to be celebrated. Broken clock twice a day etc.

  5. Hey Darlin' says

    To use the rhetoric of the far right – THE CHILDREN, Won’t someone think of the children! This is a case where we truly need to think of actual children, not fantasy “children” dreamed up only to need imaginary protection.

  6. says

    This kid and his family are astoundingly strong.

    Feeble-minded folks may look at this story and think “we can’t ‘use kids’ the way the Conservative Right does!!” – but that misses the reality: nobody is “using” this kid, or any other kids, besides the conservative right. they’re using bigotry, against children, for their own political gain.

    Stacey Campfield is using gay kids like this young boy to win political points. he’s putting this kid in danger, to appease GOP bigots.

    what this kid is talking about is reality – there are gay kids in every class. more and more will be coming out at younger ages. the bigoted “don’t say gay bill” put forth solely BY bigots is “using kids” .

    My mum with her PFLAG-ers have been going to schools around the city talking to classes, within the parameters of diversity curriculum, to talk about not just bullying, but LGBT Diversity. grades 2-high school seniors. because there are kids who are hearing bigotry and hatred and rhetoric and not examples of love and diversity.

    schools have an obligation to create safe environments for their students. and NO, protecting the “right” of bigoted students doesn’t bloody count.