A lot of silly misunderstandings, challenges of preconceived notions, awkward pronunciations of the word "Asian", and a wrestling match for stakes.
Thirteen-year old Skylar Davis of Garnett, Kansas was suspended from school yesterday for wearing a Vera Bradley purse to Anderson County Senior-Junior School and refusing to take it off, KCTV 5 New reports. Skylar has been wearing the bag since school started in August. School officials have not had a problem with the bag until yesterday. Though the school has not issued a statement regarding Skylar's suspension, he was told not to return to school until he stops wearing the purse, something he does not intend to do. Skylar and his family believe the school's actions are discriminatory:
"I don't think everyone should be treated differently," Skylar Davis said. "Everyone should have the same privileges...[The purse] expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well," Skylar told KCTV5's Dave Jordan. [...]
"I was a little furious, and I called the school [and spoke to Assistant Principal Don Hillard] to reverify the story, and yeah, he refused to take off his Vera Bradley bag, nothing more to do it," [Skylar's mother, Leslie Willis] said.
She said she reviewed the student handbook but did not see a mention to bags or purses. She questions the suspension and the timing.
"Skylar has been going to school since August with that same Vera Bradley bag on, hasn't taken it off. What is the problem?" she asked.
Skylar's brother, Dakota Haight, also spoke out in support of his brother, criticizing the school's concern with Skylar's choice of school bag:
"I've seen girls wear short shorts. Why don't they get kicked out? But then he gets kicked out for a purse? That doesn't make sense. It's not right," Haight said.
Watch a news report on Skylar's suspension AFTER THE JUMP...
On the heels of the Senate's vote today to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, comes a story out of Oakland, California about a high school football coach and English teacher, Burke Wallace, who was allegedly fired for being gay. Wallace was let go from his post as head of the football team this past spring and was ultimately forced to leave his job as a teacher at the school because of harassment and stress. Now Wallace is filing a lawsuit against the high school.
According to a lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, Burke Wallace -- the head varsity football coach at Livermore Valley Charter Prep High School in 2012 -- alleges his supervisors discriminated against him after he mentioned "in passing" that he had a husband.
The school, the Tri-Valley Learning Corporation [the non-profit organization that runs the school], and a number of John Does are named in the suit.
"He was wrongfully terminated because of his sexual orientation, and the (school's) administration is responsible for that," said John Furstenthal, Wallace's attorney. "They may try to come up with all these different excuses, but I don't think they'll hold water in court."
Furstenthal said Wallace's sexuality was no secret and that some parents and administrators objected to him coaching the team. The suit claims Wallace's supervisors openly discussed his orientation and "how it was a bad idea having a gay football coach."
Derek Austin, attorney for the Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, when asked for a comment by the Contra Costa Times said he had not seen the lawsuit in question.
(Photo via Facebook)
The Camelot theater in Palm Springs is one of the leading indie theaters in the vacation hot spot. The theater has hosted a variety of film festivals, including hosting the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Short Film Festival, the American Documentary Film Festival, and the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, since it was created in 1967.
One would think that to host such events the theater would be owned by progressive or at least liberal-leaning proprietors. Roger Tansey over at MyDesert uncovered the reality that in fact the owner, Mrs. Rozene Supple, has donated to a variety of right-wing and anti-gay causes. Some of her offenses include $2200 to Michele Bachmann, $7,900 to the Koch brothers' Citizens United, and arguably most egregiously (in message, if not amount) she gave $100 to ProtectMarriage.com to support California's Proposition 8.
Mrs. Supple wrote a rebuttal for MyDesert in an attempt to balance out her portrayal, explicitly stating that she loves her Palm Springs community, and though she's Republican she does not support the Tea Party or religious right (despite donating to Bachmann), she wants smaller government oversight and less regulation (despite donating to Citizens United), and she admires and respects the gays (despite donating to an anti-gay hate cause).
To her credit, Mrs. Supple says that she has donated to causes like Desert AIDS Project, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Equality California, The Judy Fund, Olive Crest, and the Children’s Discovery Museum, and she says that going forward,
I have decided that I will no longer contribute to any political entity that does not embrace equal rights for all Americans. Truth be told, I will probably stop contributing to any of them.
Mrs. Supple may have a struggle on her hands undoing the damage that she has already done to her own reputation and public good will, and time will tell if she actually follows through on her commitments. Still, better a late conversion than never.
The Trevor Project, an organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, has unveiled a new campaign called "Ask for Help." which explains that sometimes all you need to do is ask for the help of others in order to make things better. It is a simple message but one that could help youth around the country who are struggling with and questioning their own identities.
To learn more about The Trevor Project and to get involved, check out their website.
Watch the inspiring clip and pass it along to someone who needs it, AFTER THE JUMP...
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign the marriage equality bill on November 20, he announced today:
Governor Quinn today announced that he will sign historic legislation in the days ahead that will make Illinois the 15th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality. The signing ceremony will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Forum on November 20, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
“Marriage equality is coming to Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “I look forward to signing this landmark legislation on November 20 and celebrating a big step forward with the people of Illinois.”