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4 Oregon Students Respond to Anti-Bullying Day at School with 'Gay is Not Ok' T-Shirts: VIDEO

Gayday

Friday was the national student anti-bullying "Day of Silence" in which students took a vow of silence to raise awareness about bullying. Four students in Oregon City, Oregon decided to respond with their own protest:

They wore T-shirts to school that said, "Gay Is Not Ok" and "Gay Day Is Not OK," which is a reference to Day of Silence. They sought out a KATU reporter to be interviewed.

Said one student: I don't have a big problem with gay people. It's just when they start parading around the school about how 'we have a day of silence for gays, lesbians, transvestites'. It's like, we don't have a straight day."

Watch KATU's interview with the students, AFTER THE JUMP...

Youngbigot

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton Signs Tougher Anti-Bullying Bill into Law: VIDEO

Dayton

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton today sign a bill strengthening the state's anti-bullying bill after the legislature passed it in a late night session Tuesday night, WCCO reports:

The bill requires school districts to track and investigate cases of bullying and directs schools to better train staff and teachers on how to prevent it. Current law requires school districts to have a bullying policy but doesn’t include details on what the policy should contain.

...The far-reaching law includes 19 bullying categories, from physical appearance to welfare families to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Watch Dayton sign the bill in WCCO's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Bullied Boy Can Wear 'My Little Pony' Backpack, School Says

Bruce

Earlier this week we reported on 9-year-old Grayson Bruce, a student in Asheville, NC who was taunted by his classmates for wearing a "My Little Pony" backpack and then told by his school that he couldn't wear it because it is a "trigger for bullying".

Grayson's story received national attention and now the school has reconsidered after meeting with Grayson's mother on Thursday, USA Today reports:

"We are considering all options for getting Grayson back in school," Bruce said after the meeting. "We are pleased the school system is working closely with us. All of the options include Grayson taking his My Little Pony bag to school."

...Bruce met with superintendent Tony Baldwin and director of student services David Thompson, after which she said she felt "much better."

"We had a real heart-to-heart talk," Bruce said. "I strongly feel we can work together to make things better for Grayson and all the students in our school system."

Bruce said she will work with Thompson to help organize a parent advisory council on bullying.


Arkansas Student Excluded from Yearbook for Being Gay Faces New Bullying from Peers, Teachers

Taylor_ellis

Over the past few days we've bee reporting on Taylor Ellis. Ellis's school, Sheridan High School is refusing to run a yearbook profile on Ellis because he's openly gay.

Chad_griffinThe disgusting censorship led to the Human Rights Campaign staging a rally at the Arkansas State Capitol demanding the school change its mind. Instead, the school administrators dug in their heels. Ellis's case is now drawing national attention and has been featured on CNN.

Sheridan School District Superintendent Brenda Haynes released a statement:

Haynes“We must make decisions that lead in the proper direction for all of our students and for our community. We must not make decisions based on demands by any special interest group. The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook...It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the district have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so."

But what's happening back at school is even more disgusting. Ellis tells Slate:

T_ellisToday was my first day back [after a school trip]. People were talking about it while we were on our trip, texting all of us, making comments. I was about to lose it...

At first, everybody kept quiet. I’m in choir—that’s a good group. All the guys were nice. People were telling me I’m doing a good thing. My teacher said if I had any problems in any other classes I could just come back and sit in her room. … Geometry was fine, too. The teacher was fine with it; she understood and talked to me a little bit. She told me, “it’ll all pass, it’ll all be fine.” She’s a really good teacher. I don’t think she said anything negative to me.

[By] fifth period I was ready for the day to be over. All these people were negative, quiet—just weird.  I was ready to be home, just trying to get away from everything. Then I got in the Instagram page someone made that said “Sheridan School = No Gays.” I was looking at all the people [at Sheridan] who liked it and who followed it—people I don’t need to talk to. Three of them were in that class, sitting right across from the room from me.

A screenshot of the page, which is still live, is below. Ellis adds:

I asked [a few other students] why they were following this hate page [on Instagram]. And my teacher said, you don’t need to be talking about that in class. You need to go sit down. You have assignments to do. This teacher has never gotten onto me, never had a problem with me. But now she just kept saying stuff and I was just sitting there, shaking and crying. That’s what I do when I get mad—I shake and cry.

Stay strong. Taylor. We are with you.

Nogays


N.C. School Tells Bullying Victim Not To Wear 'My Little Pony' Backpack

Grayson

A 9-year-old North Carolina student named Grayson Bruce has been told by his elementary school to stop wearing a “My Little Pony” backpack because it is a “trigger for bullying.”

Bruce told his ABC news affiliate that because bullies associate his Rainbow Dash backpack with a girl’s toy, “[The bullies are] taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen."

The boy’s mother responded, “[My Little Pony is] promoting friendship, there's no bad words, there's no violence, it's hard to find that, even in cartoons now." She added, “Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It’s flawed logic, it doesn’t make any sense.”

For now Bruce is using a different bag, but mother and chld are urging the school to take action against the bullies rather than forcing the young student to conform to intimidation.

Another North Carolina student attempted suicide earlier this year after being bullied for watching My Little Pony. Soon after, a recovery fund was raised in his honor. Similarly, over 15,000 people have joined a “Support for Grayson” Facebook page urging his school to stop bullying and “empower children to be who they are!”

(via think progress)


Portland Teens Carve Swastika into Schoolmate's Forehead, Say He Called Someone 'Gay': VIDEO

Dustyn2

Dustyn Murrain (above) experienced a harrowing ordeal last week when he was attacked and tortured in a shed by four peers, two of whom he claimed as friends. Murrain was beaten in the head with a crowbar, received shots to the chest and groin with a BB-gun, and then had a swastika carved into his forehead, likely by Blue Kalmbach, a student who claims that Murrain bullied them (by calling one of them 'gay') first.

TeensDustyn's mother, Kelli Murrain, has said that whether her son bullied the four teens or not--she does not believe that he did--his verbal harassment should never have constituted such extreme physical backlash.

KATU.com reports:

"I've been called lots of names and I never went out and shot anybody or beat them in the head with a crowbar," [Kelli Murrain] said.

Murrain says her son had emergency surgery Monday night for the BB shot that went through his groin area. He has staples in his head from getting hit with a crowbar...
 
It's a cold indifference Kelli Murrain finds difficult to fathom.
 
"These kids threw away their lives and they don't even get it," she said. "They don't understand what they did. They're still making excuses. It's like OK ... maybe you'll get it when you're sitting in jail."
 
Another student, Curtis Floyd Wilkinson from David Douglas High School, came forward to speak out against Kalmbach as well, claiming that he was friends with Kalmbach until he began to bully him by kicking the backs of his legs while walking down the school hallway. Wilkinson spent time in a psychiatric ward for severe depression, and he links Kalmback to that stint.
 
"The bullying thing at school can get really really bad and people should probably know about it. This should not go unnoticed and should really be looked at," Wilkinson said.
 
Murrain, still rattled about his experience, will have both mental and physical scars to remind him of his torture.
 
"Why they would carve a swastika in his forehead? It's something he'll never forget, if the scar doesn't go away; every time he looks in the mirror he's going to be reminded of what happened to him," [his mom] said.

Watch news coverage of the horrific story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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