Thursday, December 31, 2015

Maybe We Need A Rainbow

Allow me to begin by saying I'm not comfortable writing about this. For starters, having not had a child in school for 20 years I question if I should be telling people about how to educate their children. It is, after all, not my decision to make.

Then there's my own personal experiences with public education. With an IQ of 145 plus I soaked up learning like a sponge, so fast in-fact that school bored me to death. In the 6th grade I read the World Book Encyclopedia cover to cover, all 20 volumes plus Year Books and Science Year Books, at the expense of not doing my homework.

Still, there was no question I couldn't answer when called upon in class to answer questions.

I was literally years ahead of many of the kids I went to school with and many of them hated me for it. Especially the jocks. And being that I was a smaller than average boy-- even smaller than my brother 2 years younger-- I didn't stand a chance.

Junior High School at Aycock was violent. And by the time I got to high school at Dudley most of the families who could afford to flee had done so. Many were fleeing for racial reasons but many others were leaving simply because parents could no longer bear to see their children suffer. My parents wanted to leave but couldn't swing a new mortgage.

It was only after I was hospitalized from an unprovoked beating by 8-10 young men on the campus of Dudley High School that my mother managed to force the then Greensboro City Schools to hire security guards for every high school.

But by then it was too late for me.

I had already suffered years of abuse, years of beatings, years of being teased for being smart and years of being bored to tears in the Greensboro City Schools, never allowed or even encouraged to reach my full potential. Now ask yourself this question: what if any child in east Greensboro in that era just happened to also be gay or transgendered?

One of the favorite activities of the high school jocks in those days was to go to the Lawndale Shopping Center to where the Lawndale Drive-in is today to a bar then known as the Pied Piper-- Greensboro's only known gay establishment in those days.

Once inside they would let some gay gentleman pick one of them up and when they got him outside, they and their friends would beat him half to death and take all his money. They would all come to school bragging about it the next day. And no one did anything about it.

Of course that was the '60s and '70s, attitudes have changed, right?

Well odds are good you'll go to jail in Greensboro these days for rolling gays and gay bashing but children are as cruel as they ever were. That's why "Last year about 9 in 10 LGBT students reported harassment and 3 in 10 reported missing classes due to safety concerns."

Could you imagine if  9 in 10 straight students reported harassment and 3 in 10 reported missing classes due to safety concerns in the Guilford County Schools? Mothers would be crying in the streets and fathers would be walking into principals' offices carrying loaded shot guns.

That's why:

"... Christian Zsilavetz and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta are making a change with their own version of the Harvey Milk School."

They call it the Rainbow School.

Now I have no idea as to what the numbers might be as to violence and harassment of LGBT or even what heterosexual students might be in the Guilford County Schools but I can tell you that if it is going on-- and I'm sure it is-- then your children aren't learning.

Say you don't like the LGBT population? Well it just so happens they make up some of the brightest and most creative minds in existence and are responsible for many modern advancements that most of you, like it or not, cannot live without.

Sometimes we just have to live with things we don't like. I'm not liking the rain much lately myself.

via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"There’s a number of kids who come from the South … migrating to places like New York and other cities because they feel like it’s more tolerant for them,” said Ross Murray, programs director, global and U.S. South, for gay rights group GLAAD."

Now what happens when we force them all to leave for places where they'll be better accepted for what they are?

We end up with a corrupt and dying city like the one we've got with no vision, no creativity and no hope for the future.

Want more angry old men like me? Old men who aren't scared of dying, who ignore the threats of law suits, who have nothing to lose and with time on our hands? Keep doing as you've always done and pretty soon you'll find us springing up everywhere you look in numbers you can't ignore.

Scary, ain't it?