Monday, March 1, 2010

A Project For Your GSA: Get Students (And Faculty) To Sign A No-Hate-Speech Pledge

One of the best things about being part of a High School's Gay Straight Alliance is how discussions go from global (the horrible anti-gay laws being debated in Uganda) to the local (what can we do here, at this school, to further GLBTQ equality?)

I was really proud of the teens at this one school, who came up with the idea of having their fellow students and members of the school community sign a pledge to not use anti-gay hate speech.

In one week of lunchtimes, six members of their GSA got over a quarter of the students at their school to sign it.

It reads:

I realize that words have power, so
like "that's so gay," "fag," or "no homo."

Hate Speech became a topic of conversation, and perhaps everyone (even those who didn't choose to sign) became a bit more aware of the language they use.

It wasn't a slam-dunk fix to all bias at the school, but it was a significant step towards empowering the students involved with the GSA and raising the issue of the power of words to hurt... and to heal.

What about your school? Could something like this work where you are? Wanna Try?

Let me (and everyone else here at this virtual Gay-Straight Alliance) know how it goes!


1 comment:

Jonathon Arntson said...

I am interested to see teens' responses to this. I remember doing the day of silence, which was hard for me at the time. I did have to speak during French, which I felt guilty about at the time, but found out afterward that we were given a reprieve for such things.