Tag Archive | "bullying"

GLEE Tackles Gay Suicide

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Photo: MAX ADLER plays Dave Karofsky on FOX’s
‘GLEE’, a teenager struggling with his identity.

Rory Barbarossa

Last week’s episode of the hit series “Glee” (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, WSVN-7) drew attention to the national epidemic of gay teen suicides, with the outing of character Dave Karofsky (Max Adler), a jock and bully who had previously tormented the openly-gay Kurt (Chris Colfer). After Karofsky’s football teammates haze him with Facebook posts (“Go back into the closet.”) and vandalize his locker with the word “fag,” the teen attempts suicide, after which his father finds him and rushes him to the hospital.

“I was incredibly happy that the writers and producers chose to go there, and I said that to them, ‘It’s so brave and honest, and you’re really treating this character with the integrity that he deserves,’” Adler told “E!” The actor explained his choices in depicting the character’s struggles of self-acceptance. “I felt like to not show the struggle and to have him just kind of flip over and be nice and be happy, I just felt like it wouldn’t have done it the proper justice and it wouldn’t have been treated with the honesty that it deserves,” Adler described. He also believes that from near-tragedy springs a positive note. “I feel like the message that results out of that in the end is one of hope and optimism,” he offered.

The stage for the teaching moment had been set during the hit series’ 2010 season, during a show-shocker when Adler’s Karofsky character planted a wet one on nemesis Kurt in the episode “Never Been Kissed.”

Prior to this, Karofsky had treated Kurt with only scorn and disdain. The openly-gay virgin Kurt was widely believed by fans to be getting his first kiss in that episode, but they were stunned to find out by whom it would be delivered. Producers had lulled viewers with a red-herring: a gay rival glee-clubber named Blaine.

Kurt was smitten with Blaine after the latter’s glee club performed Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Sparks flew. Having led the audience down the garden path, the writers then locked Karofsky’s lips with Kurt’s, although it took more bullying and a near-death-experience to resolve things for the characters, at least up until this point. Views should settle in and ready themselves for a few months of wondering: “Glee’s” next new episode airs April 10

Gay Teen Filmmaker Commits Suicide Made Anti-Suicide Video One Month Prior

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By Rory Barbarossa

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A gay teen from California has committed suicide just a month after he made an anti-suicide video urging others to “never give up.” Eric James Borges made the video in December for the “It Gets Better” campaign, which features inspiring videos targeting LGBT teens to help them get through difficult times.

In the video, Borges, 19, describes his own personal experiences as a gay youth, discussing the bullying he was subjected to from kindergarten through high school. “I know it is hard and I know what it feels like to be rejected and abused for your biological sexual orientation,” he offered. “I was physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally assaulted on a day-to-day basis for my perceived sexual orientation,” Borges added. “I was stalked, spit on, ostracized and physically assaulted.”

He also described an assault upon himself by students during high school while a teacher was present. This motivated Borges to leave formal school and finish his high school equivalency.

Borges was also open about his coming out experiences at home, describing it as an “extremist Christian household.”

“My mother knew I was gay and performed an exorcism on me in an attempt to cure me,” Borges said on the video. “My anxiety, depression, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts spiked. I had nowhere safe to go, either at home or school.” He was forced by his parents to leave home at the end of September.

Things seemed to have changed for the teen after he began working for the Trevor project to help bullied gay teens. “I have met and befriended the most incredible and authentic people since I’ve come out,” Borges noted.

He then offered assurances that reiterated the theme of the anti-suicide campaign:  “You will love and be loved and I love you. You have an entire life, fit to burst with opportunities ahead of you. Don’t ever give up and don’t ever for one second think that you’re not a valuable and beautiful contribution to this world. It gets better.”

Distraught friends say that Borges gave no indication in recent days that he was planning to end his own life. “He seemed like the normal old Eric the last time I saw him,” friend James Criss told ABC News. “He was fine. I couldn’t tell anything was wrong with him,” Criss added.

Mother Says Son Expelled Because of Anti-Gay Views

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A Michigan woman has brought suit in federal court against her son’s school district along with the high school teacher she claims expelled the boy from class

because his religious beliefs are inconsistent with accepting homosexuality.

Last week, the Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the mother, Sandra Glowacki, who charges the Howell, Michigan Public School District and an economics teacher, Johnson McDowell with violating her son’s constitutional rights, specifically his First Amendment right to free expression of his religion. Glowacki and her son, Daniel are Roman Catholic.

The suit says the teacher expelled Daniel Glowacki, 16, from class on October 20, 2010, while the students in the school district were observing anti-bullying commemorations and Spirit Day. On that day, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) encourages Americans to wear purple in support of LGBT youth who may feel bullied or threatened because of their sexual orientation.

The lawsuit states that the school district encouraged teachers to sell “Tyler’s Army” shirts in support of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who killed himself in 2010 after his roommate streamed an Internet video that showed Clementi kissing another male student. The teacher, McDowell, devoted his classes to promoting homosexuality, and wore one of the purple T-shirts around students all day, according to the suit. It further claims that McDowell told another student to take off a Confederate flag belt buckle that he found offensive.

The lawsuit claims that when Daniel Glowacki asked the teacher why he thought it was allowable to display a rainbow flag, McDowell asked the student if he supported gays. Glowacki told him that his Catholic religion wouldn’t permit him, at which time the suit says that Glowacki and another, similarly-minded student were told to leave class. Although officials suspended McDowell for one day without pay for violating school district policy, they later erased the penalties in order to settle a grievance he had filed.

The Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center represents, mostly through litigation, issues which are most usually in line with modern American social conservative positions: they oppose same-sex marriage; support pro-life positions and initiatives; and oppose, among other things, the removal of the Ten Commandments and other religious monuments from municipal and school buildings.

 

Minnesota Governor Creates Task Force to Stop School Bullying

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ST. PAUL, MN – Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota issued an executive order establishing a task force to study bullying in Minnesota’s public schools.

The task force will study reports of bullying and come up with the best practices and examine current laws concerning bullying and make their findings and recommendations to the governor.

Mother’s Lawsuit Claims Bullying Led to Son’s Suicide

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FISHERS, IN – The mother of a high school freshman who killed himself last year has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Hamilton Southeastern Schools accusing the district and its employees of not doing enough to stop bullying incidents which, she says, led to her son’s suicide, reported the Indianapolis Star.

Natalie Moore alleges teachers and administrators ignored reports that her son, Jamarcus Bell, suffered racially-based bullying and harassment for perceived homosexuality and emotional disability.

According to the lawsuit filed November 21 in the US District Court in Indianapolis, the African-American student was the victim of “constant and ruthless harassment and bullying from other students” who allegedly threw pieces of metal at him during a welding class, stole his shoes, his clothing, had his book bag dumped and was physically assaulted in hallways and classrooms.

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