Reasons for Pride in 2012, Part 2
BY Advocate Contributors
May 16 2012 4:00 AM ET
Because we’re turning the tide on bullying
Organizations including the Safe Schools Coalition and events such as February’s Supporting Students–Saving Lives conference in San Diego — which brought educators, MTV executives, White House officials, and parents of bullied children together to discuss issues affecting LGBT youth—are having an effect. Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district, a national symbol of negligence after eight of its students committed suicide over a two-year period, is now overhauling its bullying policies after the Department of Justice found it did not do enough to protect students from harassment. In March a New Jersey jury convicted Dharun Ravi of bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, hindering apprehension, and witness tampering for secretly taping his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi in an intimate encounter with another man and then showing the recording to others. Soon after discovering Ravi’s actions, Clementi ended his life. But young people themselves are putting a dent in bullying. High school student Katy Butler pushed the MPAA to give the documentary Bully a PG-13 rating so her peers could actually see the film. After her petition accumulated 500,000 signatures and the director removed a couple of f words from the film, the MPAA relented. Also this spring, the entire student body at Texas’s Cypress Ranch High School filmed an antibullying video that went viral, with singing, dancing, and cheerleaders. Being kind is becoming cool.