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Gay Students, Cross-Dressers Face Resistance (Mom is mad son can't wear dress to school) LOL
ap ^ | 11/17/2002 | ap

Posted on 11/17/2002 11:19:13 AM PST by TLBSHOW

Gay Students, Cross-Dressers Face Resistance

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Middleton High School junior Antonio "Loloe" Williams got sent home twice after he wore a skirt to school. School officials said the boy's attire violated the dress code by creating a distraction for other students, even though they said teens are allowed to wear the opposite gender's clothing if it doesn't disrupt learning.

But the 17-year-old student, who said he is asexual, calls the school's stance discriminatory.

"I'm really disappointed in the school system," said Williams' mother, Carmela. "They're failing to let my child get an education all because of a dress code."

The Middleton flap shows the dilemma that schools can face as they grapple with how best to serve gay students and those who deal with gender identity issues.

For the most part, it was not an issue in schools 10 or 20 years ago, when many gay students did not wear their sexual orientation on their sleeves - and before legal concerns were raised.

"When I first became an educator, it was ignored," said Harry Brown, Palm Harbor University High School' assistant principal. "It didn't exist. It was taboo."

Then came students who successfully sued their schools, showing school districts they could be held legally responsible for failing to protect homosexual students from harassment.

School systems nationwide have shelled out millions for lawsuits.

Some school districts, like Pinellas County, provide specific protection for gay and lesbian students from student-on-student harassment. Hillsborough County added sexual orientation to its policy this year.

Yet gay advocacy groups say how much protection and support students receive varies widely from school to school. As Tampa president of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Jane Boles said schools are not doing enough for gay teenagers - students at a higher risk of dropping out and committing suicide, according to national studies.

Five years ago, Boles received a call from a Tampa student who wanted to start a club for gay teens at her school. The girl, who wore a rainbow ribbon on her blouse as she gathered signatures supporting the club's formation, was told by school officials that what she was doing was "wrong and immoral," Boles recalled, preferring not to name the school.

"They likened the rainbow to the Nazi flag."

It took two years, but finally the girl was allowed to organize a gay-straight alliance club at her high school just before she graduated. The club drew 75 students at its first meeting.

Boles said people would be shocked by the frequency that gay and lesbian slurs are used in schools.

"Any teacher or administrator would not allow students to use a racial slur, but they frequently turn their back on gay and lesbian slurs," Boles said.

David Caton, executive director of the Florida Family Association, agrees that schools have an obligation to provide a safe environment for all students.

But saying it's OK for boys to wear skirts to school is going too far, he said.

"The focus should be on studying," Caton said, "not focused on him and what he's wearing."

Many schools have clubs and support groups for gay students. They include Tampa Bay Tech, Plant and Blake high schools in Hillsborough.

Senior Alison Scher, who is straight, started a club at Plant High School last year to improve tolerance of gay students among her classmates.

"It's a big issue and more attention needs to be paid to it," said Scher, whose best friend is gay. "Guns in schools are a problem but the people they're aimed at is a bigger problem."

Brown was an assistant principal at Largo High School in 1997 when several students told him they had been harassed and wanted to form a gay club.

Largo High became one of the first schools in the Tampa Bay area to create a gay-straight alliance, which drew criticism from Caton's group.

But Brown said the clubs increase awareness among students and teachers.

"We're not promoting a lifestyle, we're protecting our children," Brown said. "It's a safe schools issue."

Parent Kathy Miller believes it comes down to more education - for administrators, teachers and students. Miller, president of PFLAG in Pinellas County, took her son out of ninth grade because of harassment. At the time, he had not told his family or friends he was gay.

"We need to teach tolerance," she said. "If someone is different, it's OK."

Human Rights Watch published a study last year that said as many as 2 million gay teenagers are bullied in U.S. schools to the point that they don't receive an adequate education.

Robert Loupo, a counselor with Miami-Dade County Schools, said schools have a legal as well as a moral responsibility to make sure kids feel safe.

"If our youth are not feeling safe or if they're being threatened or harassed, they're not going to learn," said Loupo, who recently spoke to about 75 Hillsborough middle and high school guidance counselors. "And our schools are about learning."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: fl; florida; gay; school; student; students; tampa
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1 posted on 11/17/2002 11:19:14 AM PST by TLBSHOW
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To: TLBSHOW
Sigh... where to begin?
2 posted on 11/17/2002 11:20:23 AM PST by Libertina
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To: Libertina
"Sigh... where to begin?"

I'm with you.

3 posted on 11/17/2002 11:22:49 AM PST by Gigantor
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To: Libertina
In ten years, it'll be some wacko liberal that wants to have sex with the family dog during recess.

Who would have thought ten years ago that "Debbie Does Dallas" would be a Broadway musical? Well other than Bubba.....

4 posted on 11/17/2002 11:22:54 AM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: TLBSHOW
"They're failing to let my child get an education all because of a dress code."

At this point she's failing to let her child get an education because she refuses to make him wear pants.

5 posted on 11/17/2002 11:23:52 AM PST by Fraulein
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To: TLBSHOW
If I remember right, Largo is a fairly affluent area. Guess they don't have much else to worry about.
6 posted on 11/17/2002 11:24:14 AM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: TLBSHOW
But the 17-year-old student, who said he is asexual

Does that mean he can produce offspring without sexual reproduction?
7 posted on 11/17/2002 11:24:50 AM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Doctor Raoul
You are not far off of the mark. Just look at the increasing effort to legitimize pedophilia. I won't be surprised to see some sort of mainstream effort to declare pedophilia legal.
8 posted on 11/17/2002 11:25:09 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: Fraulein
At this point she's failing to let her child get an education because she refuses to make him wear pants.

She's a liberal, it couldn't possibly be HER fault. It's the government that solves all problems, so if it's unresolved, it's the government school's fault.

9 posted on 11/17/2002 11:26:26 AM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: Paul Atreides
I won't be surprised to see some sort of mainstream effort to declare pedophilia legal.

YOu're both correct and incorrect.

The APA will try )is trying) to normalize pedophilia. But I wouldn't call them mainstream.

How's this for a bumper sticker? "The APA Needs Professional Help"

10 posted on 11/17/2002 11:28:36 AM PST by Doctor Raoul
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: TLBSHOW
"I'm really disappointed in the school system," said Williams' mother, Carmela.

So what did his father say?

I have a feeling there is no father, mom really wanted a daughter all along or maybe some of her boyfriends got to Loloe when he was still a very young boy.

12 posted on 11/17/2002 11:29:44 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Welsh Rabbit
Does that mean he can produce offspring without sexual reproduction?

Hopefully it means he/she/it doesn't have any reproductive organs at all.

13 posted on 11/17/2002 11:30:45 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: TLBSHOW
They should just install a third toilet with a question mark on the door and let the fools make fools of themselves, to their sissy little hearts content.
14 posted on 11/17/2002 11:31:17 AM PST by F.J. Mitchell
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To: Fraulein
Ironically, it appears that "Loloe" is the one wearing the pants in the family. No mention of a father in this story.
15 posted on 11/17/2002 11:31:45 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
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To: TLBSHOW
Laaaargo High School.

Should I be honored a place so close to home.....my own school, for two years appeared on FR?


Ha ha ha ha.
16 posted on 11/17/2002 11:32:55 AM PST by JakeWyld
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To: Doctor Raoul
Who would have thought ten years ago that "Debbie Does Dallas" would be a Broadway musical? Well other than Bubba.....

I can just picture Clinton sitting in a loge, cracking peanut shells & whoopin' it up! LOL

17 posted on 11/17/2002 11:34:00 AM PST by jla
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To: TLBSHOW
Five years ago, Boles received a call from a Tampa student who wanted to start a club for gay teens at her school. The girl, who wore a rainbow ribbon on her blouse as she gathered signatures supporting the club's formation, was told by school officials that what she was doing was "wrong and immoral," Boles recalled, preferring not to name the school. "They likened the rainbow to the Nazi flag."

I have never heard anyone liken the gay flag to the Nazi flag, but the tactics they use are such that calling them the "Gay-stapo" is not unfair.

Like their comments above in bold and the "stop the religous violence" propoganda mantra they spead.

Some older Florida legislature member talked to visiting gay teens. He let them in his office unscheduled, listened to their presentation and then respectfully disagreed on religous grounds. One little bastard coyly slandered the guy by saying to the press, "I fell like I've been battered."

18 posted on 11/17/2002 11:35:24 AM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: TLBSHOW
School systems nationwide have shelled out millions for lawsuits.

Yep, and the schools invariably lose these cases. ....All because of the nastiest of four letter words: ACLU

19 posted on 11/17/2002 11:38:29 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: TLBSHOW
This type of conduct reveals a flaw in our penal system. It is not serious enough, at this time, to warrant this poor souls destruction. Life in prison does not seem warranted. Indeed, if sentenced to life in prison he would probably 'find' himself and settle down-at taxpayers expense-with Bubba as the latters spouse. Indeed, charity dictates that we must attempt by 'kinder gentler' means, to recall him to his sex.

Therefore, we should reinstitute the stocks, the ducking stool, the whip and the pillory. This would require a constitutional amendment declaring such help as NOT cruel and unusual punishment. The assistance granted to these poor souls would be administered on the courthouse lawn after a summary trial. This course,if followed,would work wonders for our society. Hell, we might even laugh together again.

20 posted on 11/17/2002 11:39:16 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS
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