By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 06 2011 9:25 AM ET
Gay teen activist Caleb Laieski has notified officials at every school in Arizona that they must put a stop to bullying, or else he plans to file a lawsuit.
The Arizona Republic reports that the Phoenix-area teen e-mailed a letter to more than 5,000 school administrators and elected officials in early December.
“The letters warn school officials that they must institute policies specifically prohibiting gay harassment by students, teachers and administrators,” reports the Republic. “Schools that fail to stop bullying will encounter ‘legal ramifications.’”
Laieski, 15, founded Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination two years ago. Prior to making his demand of every school in Arizona, he successfully prompted the Dysart Unified School District, where he had endured antigay bullying, to revise its handbook to include language that prohibits bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Now pursuing his high school equivalency diploma, Laieski runs his organization with a friend, Casey Cameron of Chicago.
Thus far, the Republic reports that the letter campaign has generated responses from only a handful of officials, most of whom have not expressed plans to take further steps. The Arizona School Boards Association, whose handbook recommends policies and language to many districts, plans to release new policy advisories this month, but a spokeswoman would not say whether antigay bullying was included among the revisions.