Smithie Making it Better

20Oct10

In the wake of the recent LGBTQ suicides, there has been an outpouring of action from both the online and offline worlds. Blog posts, video projects, news articles, etc, are grappling with the tragedies and trying to turn collective grief into something productive. From Jacqui Shine ’05 comes one of the latest efforts, Write Your Principal:

Inspired by Jennifer Walters, Smith’s own Dean of Religious Life, Write Your Principal is based on a simple, concrete, and practical strategy for responding to the bullying and harassment of GLBTQ youth: write a letter to your old high school principal. Ask, as a queer or allied alum/na, what the school is doing to stop bullying and create safer schools. Many Smithies have already written! And if you’re interested in helping us by organizing a letter-writing campaign in your neighborhood or community, please get in touch. We have resources a-plenty.

Founded in the aftermath of reports about the devastating impact of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ young people, and the preventable deaths of Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, and Billy Lucas, we launched  on 11 October 2010 to commemorate National Coming Out Day. Our nationwide campaign encourages LGBTQ people and their allies to write to their Junior High and/or High school principal or to the principal of their local schools – even if they graduated 30 years ago. Please forward the e-mails or letters that you have sent or received in response to writeyourprincipal@gmail.com. We post the responses so parents, educators, and activists can learn from the diverse programs schools are developing, while sending a clear, unified message to the schools of America that enough is enough.

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