Wonderful op-ed by two high school students.
“Schools do not exist to protect their students from reality and the challenges it presents. They do exist to prepare and educate people for their entrance into the real world and to ensure that they will have the skills and knowledge to run a successfully functioning nation when it becomes their responsibility.”
By Helen Bradshaw and Virginia Jenkins
February 24, 2006
The Virginia General Assembly is currently considering a bill that would prohibit sexually based clubs in public schools. The bill is designed to indirectly decrease sexual activity within the student body by removing support of any sexual behavior from schools. This seems like common sense; no school would willingly advocate sexual activity through a club or any other function.
However, in all actuality this bill is a thinly veiled threat to Gay-Straight Alliances and also to such groups as the Lambda Alliance, Safety Zones, Amnesty International and other organizations that support diversity of society and personal freedoms. If this legislation is passed by the General Assembly, many such school-based groups have the potential to be disbanded, depriving students at their respective schools of the diversity and education they offer.
The Lafayette High School Gay-Straight Alliance in Williamsburg is a prime example. The club, founded two and a half years ago, is not based on sexual orientation but rather on accepting others regardless of who they are. The club has roughly 15 members, and many active supporters. No record of anyone’s sexual orientations exists. This is because sexual orientation is not relevant to the club’s membership or purpose.