Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Friday, May 8, 2009

When The Principal is the Bully

Last night I attended a forum that addressed rights for LGBT students. Justice For All: Creating Safe Schools for all Students was jointly organized by the ACLU, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), HRC and Equality Arizona. The mission of the forum was to educate students, parents and school faculty about the rights of LGBT students.

Chris Quintanilla was one of the main reasons this forum was held. In February of this year, Chris wore a terricloth wristband to school that said "Rainbows are Gay." At one point the principal approached Chris and asked if he could see his bracelet. He looked at it and then walked away. Several days later Chris' mom Natali received a phone call from the school informing her that Chris would no longer be allowed to wear the bracelet like that. The principal stated that he could turn it inside out and wear it or not wear it at all - those were his options. Natali asked why he could not wear the bracelet and she was told because some of the teachers found it offensive and because it was disruptive.

Natali Quintanialla felt uncomfortable about this and knew that Chris' rights were be infringed upon. So she contacted the ACLU and got them involved. The ACLU contacted the principal and informed them of Chris' constitutional rights. He is guranteed freedeom of speech and expression. The school rescinded the ban and Chris is now allowed to wear his wristband.

Okay - kudos to the mom for standing up for her son. The easy thing to do would have been to cower away from any controversy. She could have simply complied with the demands of the principal. But she stood up for her son and did the right thing. Natali Quintanilla - you inspire me.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for coming and supporting the event! It was great meeting you.