January 20, 2010

>Facebook Event to 'Kill All Gay People' at MA High School a Horrifying Example of Why GLSEN's Message of Respect Matters

>We tweeted last week about a horrifying story out of Chelmsford, Mass., in which a Facebook event was created to "kill all gay people yea" at Chelmsford High School.

Thankfully no acts of violence have been reported and it turned out to be "the senseless act by an individual who failed to recognize the serious consequences that may result from such a post," according to police.

The hopeful news is that the community seemed to rally in opposition, with the principal denouncing the hateful action over the school intercom. Said one commenter on the Facebook event:

This is truly disgusting. Everybody should be trying to embrace each others differences and learn from them instead of instilling fear in people who would never think about doing anything to hurt you.

Even though the police and school were able to stop anything from happening, the fact remains that at least one person at the school (5 signed up as attendees) wanted to send a message to LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT that they are not welcome and could face violence simply because of who they are or are perceived to be.

GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey found that 86.2% of LGBT students experienced harassment in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, 60.8% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.

This has got to stop. If students do not feel safe, they cannot learn.

GLSEN is one of 100 finalists in a campaign on Facebook to award $1 million to a charity. We want to use the grant to send a Safe Space Kit to every middle and high school in the country.

Please consider voting for us at http://tinyurl.com/voteGLSEN.

It's a vote for GLSEN and a vote for respect and hope and acceptance.

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