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We are targeted as a group

Question:

Dear Trevor,

My name is Frehley and I’m bisexual. I am friends with the only (known) gay and lesbians in my school. We are targeted as a group and often when I open my locker (I share with my gay friend) we find many hateful notes towards both of us. We’ve gone to the school and they haven’t done anything about it, saying that their school was too good to do anything that heinous. After two weeks of mere notes they’ve gone to calling us names in the hallways to actually physically harassing my friends and me. I’ve started faking being ill so I don’t have to go to school anymore because of the harassment from my fellow students, but I can’t miss much more. What should I do?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Dear Frehley,

We are glad you decided to reach out for help, because even though your school is denying this horrible behavior, there are still things we can do to help you get the support you and your friends need. Bullying is never okay, even if it is commonplace, and there is a huge movement in the United States working very hard right now to end bullying in schools, especially towards LGBTQ youth. School is meant for learning and creativity and should be a positive place for every child, so hateful notes and harassment are inexcusable and we are so very sorry that you and your friends are suffering so much because of it.

The first thing to do is to talk to your parents about the situation. Even if you have already, bring up the problems again and tell them that you are being treated so horribly that you don’t even want to go to school. It is important to get the support of parents, teachers, and school administrators who believe your story, believe that bullying is happening, and are willing to do something to end it. There is no place for bullying in school and you should not have to deal with it on a daily basis. Also, encourage your friends to tell their parents too, the more people who raise their concern to the school, the better.

It sounds like your school needs some serious education on anti-bullying and especially on anti-bullying LGBTQ youth. When you have found a teacher or school administrator or parent who has some influence at school, pass along these websites for organizations that specialize in anti-bullying education: 1) The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network at http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html, 2) The Human Rights Campaign at http://www.welcomingschools.org/, 3) and the US Government at http://www.stopbullying.gov/. There are many, many organizations that work to end bullying in schools, but start with these websites, you can always get in touch with us again for more support.

The important thing to remember during this very challenging time in school is that you and your friends deserve a safe and welcoming learning environment. There is nothing wrong with any of you and the horrible way you are being treated is unacceptable. Keep raising your voices together, along with your parents and supportive friends and family, so that positive changes can be made at your school and bullying can end. We at the Trevor Project are always here for you and will continue to support you throughout, so please reach out—you are never alone! Remember you can reach us 24/7 at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/.

Sincerely,

Trevor Staff