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passionate_jus 1
Somewhat off topic:

Good editorial on Marriage Equality in Rhode Island, which just passed the House by a huge margin while the Senate is dragging it's heels.

Also, an unscientific poll in which (at this time) more people have voted against marriage equality than for it. Everyone should go and vote!

http://www.heraldnews.com/newsnow/x19593…
Posted by passionate_jus on January 29, 2013 at 7:11 AM · Report this
Danger 2
I think the girl's name was Littia Schwarz. There is no news article, only a few obituaries.

http://bit.ly/VtMvcD
http://bit.ly/TRHOJn

Sigh...
Posted by Danger on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 AM · Report this
3
There's an article in my local paper about an 11 year old who committed suicide (http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/…). In the comments, someone is suggesting folks look up the It Gets Better project.
Posted by Barbara on January 29, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 4
In my childhood, school was a deeply racist affair. People used to call each other horrible things. My Third Grade teacher would relate a story about her being unable to tell her Black students apart, since to her "they all looked the same".

This was in a Black majority city in the 1970's.

Nowadays, school is far less horrible than it was when I was a child. Sure, kids are still mean and horrible, but you don't hear racist bullshit endorsed by the parents and teachers pervading every aspect of childhood.

Someday, it will be the same for GLBT kids. This generation that's in primary school now, when they are my age, they will reflect on the bad old days when kids committed suicide because the harassment was so horrible it could not be endured. And, like me, they will marvel at how far school will have come, and how their children are so remarkably less bigoted.

We must work together to create a society that values each and every child. Lets build that future when homophobic bullying will be a fading memory.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on January 29, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 5
I think Littia Schwartz is her name, although I can not find any actual news sites reporting it.

Here is what I believe is her memorial service notification:
http://obit.lovelandfuneralchapel.com/ob…

It is scrubbed of any mention of suicide or homosexuality, but I think that is her.

Heartbreaking, of course.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 29, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 6
I think what these kids could also need is some therapy. And some friends. Having somebody other than your parents and authority figures (which school counselors are seen as) to talk to is a very good and underrated thing.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 29, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
7
It might be a good idea to link to something like secularhomeschool.com (the major secular homeschooling respurce directory) when you re-post this advice. There are tons of secular and inclusive support groups and resources for new homeschoolers out there. A homeschooling newbie family that just googled "homeschooling" in a conservative state would probably not find them, though. They would probably find a bunch of screechy Christian groups who like to present themselves as representing all homeschoolers...even though they don't and never have. That might scare the life out of people looking to homeschool to help a bullied GLBT child get an education.
Posted by HBT on January 29, 2013 at 8:16 AM · Report this
rob! 8
Reposting @7 because it's important and more people should see it:
It might be a good idea to link to something like secularhomeschool.com (the major secular homeschooling respurce directory) when you re-post this advice. There are tons of secular and inclusive support groups and resources for new homeschoolers out there. A homeschooling newbie family that just googled "homeschooling" in a conservative state would probably not find them, though. They would probably find a bunch of screechy Christian groups who like to present themselves as representing all homeschoolers...even though they don't and never have. That might scare the life out of people looking to homeschool to help a bullied GLBT child get an education. —Posted by HBT on January 29, 2013 at 8:16 AM
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on January 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
delirian 9
While I understand your concerns, I don't think most people can afford homeschooling. The only people I have known who homeschooled were super religious or had six figure incomes. And obviously homeschooling doesn't apply to people scraping by or single parent households. I think your homeschooling recommendation would probably work on about one in ten families, or less. I think the solution has to be to fix the schools rather than assume than everybody has the resources to be able to homeschool a child.
Posted by delirian on January 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM · Report this
delirian 10
@6: Is there any evidence that therapy would help? Therapy is designed to teach coping skills for life. What skills do we want to teach? To accept bullying because you can now counter those suicidal thoughts with better coping mechanisms? I think it might be a little counterproductive. It would only let the gay kid know that society cares enough about him to get him therapy, but that stopping bullying is simply impossible.
Posted by delirian on January 29, 2013 at 9:06 AM · Report this
seatackled 11
I don't think most people can afford homeschooling.

That was my initial thought, too. But that's the point of the part where Dan says go ahead and overreact, do something drastic, and turn your own life upside down to protect your kids.

You don't want to wait for the community to change after your kid does something drastic (e.g., suicide, shooting spree).
Posted by seatackled on January 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
12
Heartbreaking. Augh. The tv news video in your link really brings it home.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 29, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
13
Maybe we need a foster care system just for such kids. We live in a nice little liberal pocket of a red state and could have a teen bullied elsewhere stay with us during for school. Start a campaign!
Posted by jsm62 on January 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
14
@9 - desperate times/desperate measures
It can be done very cheaply, especially when we're talking about teenagers who just have to find a way to finish high school. Fancy curriculum is not necessary - a lot can be done with just cheap books. The internet is your oyster.

Of course, some people are very, very constrained, but we're talking now about doing what it takes to save your kid. And these are the kids who would be highly motivated to take charge of finding their own resources and take care of themselves during the day if parents have to work. They can also homeschool enough to get a GED and start working and taking college classes at some point (I have a friend who was bullied and did this). There are lot of things that are far from ideal (ideal would be every child gets a quality education with supportive friends and teachers), but that are far, far better than the soul-destroying status quo of taking abuse every.single.day.
Posted by CLDG on January 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
15
Also, you may be surprised how many kids are out there doing the "poor man's private school" - which is homeschooling themselves because their high school is a cesspool.
Posted by CLDG on January 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
16
7 billion other *stronger* people chose to live. If you can't survive the "mean streets" of public school, you probably are going to hate being an adult (or unable to become one). Better to check out early.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on January 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 17
@9, 10 Are you serious? A troll maybe? Maybe an anti-gay bigot posing as something else?

If not a troll, fixing the schools is nice, but sacrificing your kid to do so is a bit drastic, don't you think? And, don't get the gay kids therapy, as...bah...suicidal bullied kids will only learn coping skills.

If you are a troll 10/10. Would get trolled again.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
DAVIDinKENAI 18
>"I don't think most people can afford homeschooling."

Yes and no. Maybe not and maintain two incomes, three cars, and the big house. But "turn your life upside down" and many things become possible. I see people sharing homeschooling co-operatively. 1-2 days a week by each family. And why are Saturday and Sunday sacred no-school days?!? I can cover a week of math in 2 hours. A week of general science in a hour. Although I'd have to rely on my wife to efficiently convey history and languages.

And, big picture: We're not talking about toddlers here! These kids getting bullied are 12, 14, 17. Sit the kid down and say something like,

"You're miserable in school because of the bullying. That's not fair and it's not right, and things will be better in 20 years, but right now, we're concerned about you. Do you want to keep going to your school, or would you commit to supervise yourself through a home-school curriculum while I/Mom+Dad are at work? We'll review your progress and homework each night and we expect you to maintain your studies. We'll take you to community theater rehearsals / tennis lessons or you can take the bus. Tell us what social activities you want to do and we'll try to make that happen."

MANY gay kids THROW themselves into theater, sports, or academics. We've all seen it. Anything they can do well beats walking down the halls amongst the assholes and bullies. So let them excel on their own. Set guidelines and expectations. Trust but verify. Enforce consequences. Be a parent, if only once you get home from work.

Include carrots. If they've finished their home-school assignments, gaming or Netflix or email or porn is FINE, but only AFTER they've finished their schoolwork. Self-directed productive work is a far bigger and more useful lesson than most kids learn in school. There will be screw-ups. And corrections. And improvements in the long run.

We lost a child through no one's fault but if there was anything we could have done differently, we would have.

I'm arguing that there are alternatives that ARE completely possible and reasonable if you get creative.
More...
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on January 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
19
@9: And if All Of The Society doesn't change over the course of the 5 more years of school your kid has to endure?

Your own kid's school, home, etc are things you can act to change. Trying to get the entire school, town, nation, and world to change, fast enough to help your child, is an excuse to do nothing at all.
Posted by IPJ on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM · Report this
kim in portland 20
@ dan,

If it is Littia May Schwarz you are looking for? Her obituary said that she was enrolled in Oregon Connections Academy; a free online k-12 homeschooling program. The obits present a bright, well traveled, young woman that was being raised by her grandparents. She was employed, active in her church, active in community service especially for Mount Emily Safe Center (the only Child Abuse Intervention Center in Eastern Oregon) where she decorated a Christmas tree every year for the children to chose pieces from. Apparently 2012 was to have been rainbow themed.

Heartbreaking loss of a lovely young lady.

I hope Jadin Bell beats the odds he has. Doernbecher is a good hospital. I've spent more than enough time there.

Take care.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
MirrorMan 21
@16, I hope you never become a parent, because your loathsome post just revealed how you would absolutely suck at it, and you wouldn't be raising children, but rather future statistics. I wish ill upon no one, but there is a special section of hell reserved for people like you, and for my tastes, you couldn't get there soon enough.
Posted by MirrorMan on January 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
kim in portland 22
I don't know what programs other states have, but Oregon Connections Academy is a FREE online homeschooling program for k-12 and it also serves to generate outside community activities for its students.

Moving, homeschooling, et cetera, can help children with bullying issues, but many if not most need help coping with wounds they have emotionally. Their families need help. This yet another reason why mental healthcare needs to be a priority. It needs to be affordable. We need to work to remove the stigma of needing help to cope with emotional issues. Society can do a decent job of triaging physical injury, but we tend to shrug off emotional injury, in my opinion.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
23
The other thing to remember is that a motivated teen doesn't need a parent at home all day to homeschool successfully.

Anyone can get through high school with a decent local library and internet access. With a bit more work, anyone can get through high school just the library or just the internet. If you don't have either, for the love of all that is holy in this world, WHY are you still living in that god-forsaken town?
Posted by EclecticEel on January 29, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
kim in portland 24
Update:

Jadin Bell has been removed from life support according to Basic Rights Oregon and KATU News. May he pass quickly and easily. My condolences to his family.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on January 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
25
Shit. Thanks for letting us know, kim.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM · Report this
26
High school age students in Washington also have the opportunity to ditch their high school in favor of the local community collage via the Running Start program.
Posted by restlessnative on January 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
27
Sure, send your kids to a different school. I have a major problem with homeschooling, however. My wife has an MA in Early Childhood Recognition. That means that, assuming we could afford for her to years off without pay, she would be able to teach our kids up to 3rd grade. Can she teach pre-college math, including trig and calc? No. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science. Assuming that I could take time off and homeschool our children, am I qualified to teach AP Biology. (Well, I must admit that I am more qualified than some creationist trying to foist religion in place of science.) No single person, not even a professional teacher with advanced training, is capable of giving adequate instruction in all of the specialized areas that students need and deserve. Homeschooling implies that a single person or a couple have the expertise equivalent to all of the teachers in a complete K-12 school system. Clearly, they do not.
Posted by LML on January 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
28
20

so her parents took Dan's advice and she is still dead?

is there a money back guarantee, Dan?
Posted by 5¢, please....... on January 29, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
29
The only thing I'd add is react the same way even if your child isn't gay. Gay kids are at more risk of being badly bullied than straight kids, but there are a bunch of other kids who get severely bullied - trans kids, effeminate straight boys, tomboy straight girls, and kids who are just different in some way that may not relate to gender or sexuality at all. If your kid is miserable, don't just wait it out. If your kid is complaining about bullying, don't just ignore it. Kids deserve protection, and as a parent, you have a responsibility to protect your child. And it can be hard to tell how serious the threat is.
Posted by uncreative on January 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
30
@9: Wrong. I was homeschooled for two years. My mother was a teacher at a very poor school and delivered pizza on the weekends; as a result we joked that I attended "night school" (I was expected to study my course materials from 10am to 1pm, then to have classroom time from 5pm to 9pm), since my dad also worked two minimum-wage jobs and was on the road as a trucker a lot. When he was home, he took care of my "life skills course" by having me help him with home repairs--rather than stitching samplers I helped to paint a deck, rip out and replace a staircase, and put up new plasterboard walls to replace highly flammable paperboard in our postwar tract house.

I wouldn't trade those two years for anything. Was it "traditional" school? No way. Did I flourish in them? Oh yes, and I was removed from the classroom for similar reasons to those Dan describes here (I'm autistic; at the time I had not been properly diagnosed and you can probably imagine the havoc).

@13: This is a wonderful idea! Rather than "foster system" I would use the term "host family," as you would be hosting a child to provide new and beneficial experiences. "Foster family" sort of implies the bio-parents can't do their jobs. Perhaps this is something we should try to get actively implemented in various states.
Posted by Ninalyn on January 29, 2013 at 12:49 PM · Report this
delirian 31
@17: The only useful thing that therapy does is teach coping skills. And most therapy does not even do this. Therapy like CBT focuses on changing behaviors and beliefs. And what behaviors or beliefs should a bullied gay kid change?

Send a bullied gay kid to a therapist and he will come back drugged up and thinking that it is his behaviors that are causing him to be bullied. Then he'll be yelled at by his parents for being depressed and for the therapy costing too much money.

But please, continue with your ad hominem attacks. That is apparently easier than thinking. People like you think therapy is some magical treatment, when in fact, it is disturbingly close to a placebo. Therapy sucks and hardly works at all. Drugs are no better. Having a mental illness sucks and mental illnesses with a high treatment rate (>40%) are few and far between. With this in mind, the best way to deal with mental illnesses caused by bullying is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Posted by delirian on January 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Sandiai 32
@21, we tend to just ignore that stupid little closet-case.
Posted by Sandiai on January 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
DAVIDinKENAI 33
@27: On the one hand, I often say something similar - that we're an MD and PE (professional engineer) couple but we're not qualified to home school (although we're highly qualified to supplement it). And yet. . . Really, while you couldn't teach Trig cold, couldn't you crack a book and learn it?

And if neither of you can teach Trig (etc), Sal Khan (Khan Academy) will. For free. And the student has to demonstrate proficiency at each small step.

With very high-flying kids, we bump into home-schoolers at various national- and international-level competitions. Some have their kid very deeply into narrow areas (math, music) to the detriment of their social lives and practical skills.

But others really have balanced, high-level academics with outside social contact and expect more of their kids than any school system would.

More importantly, we're talking about homeschooling as an emergency response to an untenable school setting. The bullied kid is often NOT focused on academics.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on January 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Bonefish 34
16: The same could be said of the types of pearl-clutching control freaks who bully gay people to begin with: society is progressing (that's fancy talk for "smartenin' up") with or without you. If this offends your delicate sensibilities, feel free to "check out early" yourself, as you so politely put it (while talking about children, no less).

It takes a special level of pathetic for an adult to go on about how tough he is compared to a child. Not that I'd expect much more from a pearl-clutching homophobe, though.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on January 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 35
@10 - That's not what therapy is for, you fucking troll.

@6 - I encourage parents to screen therapists VERY THOROUGHLY and ask point blank: "Are you gay affirmative?" and don't send your child (or yourself) to any therapist who doesn't answer the question with a straightforward "YES."

Therapy with a gay affirmative therapist can be the kind of witnessing that LGBT people need in order to (literally) affirm their existence and learn that they deserve all the basic rights that their humanity confers upon them.

Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on January 29, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 36
@10 - That's not what therapy is for, you fucking troll.

@6 - I encourage parents to screen therapists VERY THOROUGHLY and ask point blank: "Are you gay affirmative?" and don't send your child (or yourself) to any therapist who doesn't answer the question with a straightforward "YES."

Therapy with a gay affirmative therapist can be the kind of witnessing that LGBT people need in order to (literally) affirm their existence and learn that they deserve all the basic rights that their humanity confers upon them.

Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on January 29, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
delirian 37
@35: Nice ad hominem. Please explain what you think therapy is. I've been through it enough with over a dozen different providers that I have a pretty good idea how it works. It is an easy way to charge $100/hr for doing almost nothing and then abandon your patient when they are too 'hard'. For the most part therapists are scum and therapy is a crock of shit.
Posted by delirian on January 29, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Report this
38
I am so happy to see Dan endorsing homeschooling, and giving some positive press to the non-religious, non-wacko, young-person empowering and liberating side of the movement. Doesn't have to cost a lot of money - I was home schooled and grew up in a family with pretty modest income. Especially for older kids who are capable of being self directed and get involved with volunteer opportunities and finding other non-traditional support systems for learning. Community College could be a great option for older kids, especially if something like WA's Running Start program is available. (Running Start was my stepping stone from homeschooling to college). A great resource for folks in this situation is Grace Lewellyn's The Teenage Liberation Handbook which is specifically aimed at teens who are not thriving in the school system and want to make a better education/life experience for themselves.
Posted by billylourae on January 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Soupytwist 39
@37 - Sounds like you're using your personal experience with therapy as an analogue for all therapy. Therapy, like AA or meditation, is not for everyone. Talk therapy is as varied in style as anything. It's unfortunate that you weren't able to match well with a therapist - without knowing WHY you were seeking therapy, I can't comment further and it would be unethical for me to do so. I wish you well.
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on January 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
40
@27, there is no law that says that home schooled kids can only be taught by their parent(s), and not by their neighbors, by their friends' parents, or learn through volunteer opportunities, or teach themselves from books, the internet, etc. We've all been carefully trained to subscribe to a scarcity model of education that says learning only happens under very specialized circumstances and specialized supervision. The reality is, that is just bullshit. The human mind is designed to learn, and if you stop running kids through a rat race of busy work and give them a chance to get really interested and inspired about something, and then make a decent effort to seek out resources and opportunities outside of the home and connect them with other people who have expertise in different areas, they will do just fine. My bother and I were both home schooled. Both of our parents had some college education, but neither of them were teachers, and we didn't have much money, either. My brother is now a registered nurse and I'm getting my MBA. Did our parents know everything we needed to learn to be prepared for nursing school or business school? Hell no! They encouraged our curiosity, taught us to think for ourselves, and helped us find the resources we needed to pursue our interests. It's not rocket science, and no parent should be frightened away from providing their child with the support and freedom that they need by the misconception that they will become responsible for single-handedly providing a "complete educational experience" without getting hep from their community.
Posted by billylourae on January 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
41
I would agree with the "overreact" advice. I was bullied in school because I was Jewish. In my country of origin, that made me the target of racism not too dissimilar from what an American black person would encounter in a Southern state. My parents emigrated to the US to give me a better life. They gave up their language, their culture, their friends, their jobs - everything. And I did not kill myself.

If they could do that much for me, couldn't American parents move to a different state, change schools, hire tutors and homeschool the kid? That's peanuts compared to what my parents did. And you don't want to do that to save your child's life?
Posted by Lvm on January 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
puppydogtails 42
Can someone explain how a school can't be sued if a child under their supervision commits suicide due to bullying? The US makes a court case about everything, no?
Posted by puppydogtails on January 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 43
I might have actually gone on to college had I been able to stay home and do coursework. As it was, I learned to cut class and hate school, all because of bullying. Had I been my parents, I'd've had me at home in a heartbeat. But that was in the early '70's.
No gay kid being bullied should have to endure that shit. It's taken years to overcome that damage.
Posted by OutInBumF on January 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 44
@35 I would hope that the parents would find a gay positive therapist. I mean, if they're going through that much for their kid, chances are they know enough to research the kid's therapist.

@37 10/10. The use of ad hominem was a nice touch. :-D
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 29, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
givesgoodemail 45
@2: Littia was 16 (jives with Dan's information), and there is no mention of cause of death (suspicious, particularly in a small town where all the other obituaries go into detail), and was homeschooled (a frequent haven for bullied public school kids).

I'd bet she's the one we're looking for.
Posted by givesgoodemail http://www.givesgoodemail.com on January 29, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
46
Home schooling and Running Start certainly helps although kids can still experience cyberbullying if they choose to use Facebook, Tumblr, Skype and other messaging/social media.

UCLA recently released a study showing that the "cool" kids are most likely to bully and that anti-bully programs are most effective when they focus on the role of bystanders. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/coo…
Posted by Vicky Bellevue on January 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM · Report this
47
Home schooling and Running Start certainly helps although kids can still experience cyberbullying if they choose to use Facebook, Tumblr, Skype and other messaging/social media.

UCLA recently released a study showing that the "cool" kids are most likely to bully and that anti-bully programs are most effective when they focus on the role of bystanders. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/coo…
Posted by Vicky Bellevue on January 29, 2013 at 7:28 PM · Report this
48
I agree that you should do whatever necessary to protect your kids. I'm not sure that homeschooling should be the first option. I'd think that moving, changing schools, or sending the kid to a relative in a more accepting area would be the best first, second, and third steps. High school (and even middle school) is as much about socialization as it is education. So, people are being brutally mean to your kid, and you pull them from that environment. Great, that solves one problem...but what about friends, dances, football games? Yes, there is the opportunity for *some* of these things in good geographical and homeschool communities, but I'd imagine (as I was once a high school student myself, though not one who was ostracized widely, even if I was only pleasant and not "tight" with the "cool kids," even to this day when a reunion rolls around), that it would be quite heartbreaking to know your peers were doing all these things regularly, without special effort, while you were sitting home and going to only planned activities. It's certainly an improvement over constant harassment and even physical violence (in some cases), but it could still be quite distressing. I'd argue, first, try to find a different school nearby (so as not to upend everything (home, community, and *having* a school environment), even if it upends your schedule getting the kid there or budget paying for private school), second move, third - if possible - send your kid to a more accepting area with relatives willing to help out, and THEN homeschool.

But, FWIW, and, yes, I'm pretty damn good at math and science, I think I could pull off homeschooling if I needed to, to the naysayers. My best friend has 3 kiddos, and when I visit her, I'm the "homework guru." I dunno, maybe it's 4 years of tutoring college kids (between undergrad and grad school) and spending several years at work in a position where I regularly train people on how to do stuff, but I just seem to be able to get them to get it. Not that she's a slouch...she has advanced degrees (yep, that's plural) in education. She can drill it into their head, but I come around and am, like, "let me show you how you'll use this when you have a job," or "hey, I don't know much about that, but it's really interesting, should we research it?" and they just take to that. Especially when I confide to them that there are FREQUENT circumstances at work when I look things up from other people's work or the internet to make sure I'm doing it right, so there's no shame in asking ANY question, you just need to learn the WHY and not the HOW, and ask about the HOW until you learn to do it. Yes, it's the job of teachers to instruct them in the HOW, but the HOW can be discovered in any number of places, including teachers, textbooks, and electronic resources (including the internet at large). Meh...maybe it's just me. I still do cross-multiplication for conversions because I know that and know it works, wherever it is needed... Of course, I can also do pretty advanced calculus in my sleep, but, for something simple, if it ain't broke, why fix it.
More...
Posted by Ms. D on January 29, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
49
*you need to learn the WHY and *THEN* the HOW... Yes, you DO need to learn the how...
Posted by Ms. D on January 29, 2013 at 8:24 PM · Report this
lolorhone 50
@16: Go fuck yourself, troll. The simple fact that you need to belittle dead children and those who sympathize with their plight proves you're precisely the kind of asshole who these kids needed protection from. Do you think attacking the vulnerable makes you stronger? You're what's called an unnecessary motherfucker- the kind of moron who makes living life more difficult than it already it is for no other reason than that you can. Or maybe it's because you need the distraction from your own empty, wanting little life.
P.S. @28: Fuck you too. If you're not going to suggest something productive, don't waste everyone's time with your petty sarcasm. You're not only cruel, you're useless.
Posted by lolorhone on January 29, 2013 at 8:41 PM · Report this
51
Better yet: Start an LGBTetc. school.
Posted by vennominon on January 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM · Report this
52
Kids: if you know of another kid being bullied, please tell a teacher or parent! So often, the parent of a bullied child hasn't any idea it's going on. Tell someone, and save a life. Please.
Posted by Fire Chief on January 29, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Report this
53
As someone who was bullied in school, and considered "suicide" (I put it in quotes not to diminish the pain of others, but because I didn't really want to kill myself, but I so desperately wanted help out that untenable situation that this seemed to be the only way to get it). My parents had no idea, since I hid it so well, and I was so ashamed and afraid to tell them (all my failings, and none of my parents).

I was also a teacher for a while, and I can tell you from both of my experiences that there is NO WAY that the staff at these schools are unaware of the bullying that is going on. I refused to teach one kid who was bullying another kid. When I told his parents he was a bully the response reminded me of the scene in Casa Blanca when the inspector is shocked, yes shocked to find out that there is gambling going on at Rick's Cafe American.

This makes the victim suffer twice over. It makes them believe that if the adults who should be protecting them turn a blind eye, then they are "getting what they deserve".

They have to get the schools involved, probably with the threat of legal action, since they would then be put on notice.

All that aside, my heart breaks for these families.
Posted by Global Traveler on January 30, 2013 at 1:31 AM · Report this
54
Cyber school is also an option in some states. Here in PA, you can have a setup where you "attend" classes through video chats or you can self-pace. It's an option for those that can't afford to leave a job to homeschool a child. By middle school, a parent does not need to be present in the house during "school" hours. Also, PA cyber schools are funded by the same taxes that fund public schools so there is no extra cost to the parents. They even provide all the books, a computer and pay for an Internet connection.
Posted by butterflyrose83 on January 30, 2013 at 6:22 AM · Report this
55
On the subject of the affordability of homeschooling -

In Ohio, we have ECOT - http://www.ecotohio.org/ - which I think is also available in other states. It's a great alternative to traditional public schools - it's a combo of homeschooling plus public school. All your materials are free (they even provide computers and internet connections to those who don't already have them, and for families that provide their own connections they offer an office supply stipend to pay for ink/paper/etc). All the kids get tailored attention from their teachers. All the interaction is monitored by the teachers.

My niece graduated from the program last year, and my daughter started Kindergarten through ECOT this past fall, and we've all loved it. So, if you know someone who wishes they could homeschool but feels like it's unattainably expensive, tell them to check out ECOT.
Posted by MarleyBarley on January 30, 2013 at 8:12 AM · Report this
56
Homeschooling isn't an option for everyone, but in this situation if the parents are able to they should. Just do a lot of research on how to homeschool your kids before you do so and get a copy of the book "Homeschooling for College Credit" at Amazon (among others) to help.
Posted by JohnAGJ on January 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM · Report this
57
@31: Or maybe stop using your own bad experiences of therapy to make massive generalizations about the entire profession. First of all, therapists can't prescribe drugs; you have to be a psychiatrist in order to do that. Second of all, the notion that they give them out willy-nilly without regard for diagnoses is bullshit. They don't want to be sued for medical malpractice, which is totally possible when you're talking about drugs that play with your mind. Too much anti-depressant can make someone so lethargic they stop doing work, and they risk failing out of school or losing their job. Psychiatrists don't want to be responsible for that shit. In my case, even though I'd been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, my psychiatrist didn't put me on drugs until *I* felt therapy wasn't doing enough. He wanted to make sure therapy worked first.

Second of all, is it really so bad to put the kid on anti-depressants if it means the difference between a suicidal kid and a kid who is able to survive the bullying? Why do we always see psychiatric drugs as a negative thing? While the anti-gay bullying is what pushes them to the point where they commit or seriously contemplate suicide, the vast majority of people who have the POTENTIAL to be pushed to that point have a psychiatric condition. If a kid is suicidal, drugs and therapy may do more to help them than simply pulling them out of school would.

And beside all that, there's the fact that, far from just teaching them "coping mechanisms," counselors who are there to truly counsel kids on personal problems - not to just help them get into the best college, as most high school "counselors" are - are probably the best way to convince a parent that the kid really needs to get the fuck out of their awful school if that is the case. The parents might not listen to their teenager, but they would listen to a professional. Nobody who is certified in psychology or psychiatry wants to just teach a kid how to "cope" in an environment that is going to wreck them psychologically. They want to put them in a place where that isn't going to be the case.
More...
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on January 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
58
I also get frustrated when suggesting that psychological help could help bullied kids means you're blaming them - like anyone is at fault for their particular mental chemistry. But no, I think it blames the school if they think that the high school years, when everybody is at their most emotionally and mentally vulnerable, is the time to scale back the psychological support and have their counselors just be there for helping kids get into college - like mine did.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
59
It's nice to see Dan finally recognizing there's at least one legitimate reason for not-crazy people to homeschool.

...okay, I don't actually mean for that to sound as snarky as it does. But reacting to every crazy homeschooler by pointing out they're homeschooled is like reacting to every crazy woman by pointing out she's a woman, and therefore there MUST be some connection. Ditto for crazy Christians, crazy gay people........ every group has its crazies, but it doesn't mean the entire group is crazy. So it's heartening to see homeschooling suggested as a viable, logical, and *good* choice for some people.
Posted by koliebo on January 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
60
Not all parents are, by virtue of their financial situation, able to homeschool their kids, or put them in a different school. Comfortably middle-class people sometimes forget these things.

Still, good advice for anyone who *can* swing it.
Posted by reneee on January 30, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
61
@27 If you can't see the difference in difficulty and training needed to teach 1-5 kids that you've known since birth and that needed to manage a classroom of 30+ kids of all different backgrounds and abilities, then, yes, you're right that you are 100% unqualified to homeschool.

However, if it ever becomes a matter of saving your child's life, I hope that you'd use these things we call "books" to correct your deficiency.
Posted by EclecticEel on January 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM · Report this
gr8lakesgrrl 62
@13 & 30, great idea, perhaps an underground railroad of sorts. Seems like the internet would make that a lot easier then it was in the 1800's.
Posted by gr8lakesgrrl on January 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
63
It is sad that it took something like this to help people in La Grande address bullying, but I thought I would share this article about some of the things that Jadin's class mates have been doing to honor him: http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Loc…
Posted by teresairene on February 1, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
64
Speaking as someone who was bullied in school and found CBT very helpful: when you are bullied you learn all kinds of false lessons about your (lack of) worth as a human being and your relationship to other people. CBT helped me learn to be kinder to myself, and to direct my very appropriate anger at what happened to me toward the right sources -- the people who did it, not me. In other words I was finally able to accept that I was bullied because some other people decided to be assholes, not because something was wrong with ME.

To each his own. No mental health treatment is right for everyone. But it sure does work for some people and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you for trying it.
Posted by human68 on February 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
65
I was home schooled after not being able to cope at school and it saved my life. It truly helped the youth in my circle that could not cope at school anymore. They were not all gay, in fact i was not even aware I was gay then so its beside the point. Bullying is life altering. Im almost 30 years old and I remember the torture an that was before things like FB and texting. Homes schooling is not only for the well off, there are many, many online programs and schools that even supply laptops for the schooler. All you need is a safe space! We can debate for ever about the nature of man and cruelty etc but the fact is, we need options. These kids need options for a safe space to go during those years that they have the lowest self esteem and are most victimized. The most sensitive people are going to be the ones that change this world for the better and they are also the ones that can not tolerate ongoing abuse.
Posted by Kelzey on February 4, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
66
Her name was Littia May Schwarz. She was my only niece. She committed suicide on my mothers birthday. She was 16 years old. She was bright, funny, compassionate, and had a smile and a light inside her that touched the world. No she was not gay. Yes she was homeschooled. She had a 4.0 gpa and was coming to look at colleges so she could become a pediatric nurse because she loved babies so much. She had a boyfriend and the day before she died she secretly carved "I <3 U" in the back of his pumpkin. He didn't see it until the next day, after she died. Yes she was bullied/abused, but the people responsible are not who you think. That's really all I can say here because I am on the process of making sure that Littia gets justice for what she was put through. I am also in the process of enacting "Littia's Law" so as to help other minor children not have to endure the same as she did. The fact is that it is up to everybody, ie the school system, law enforcement, Dhs, parents/guardians, ect... to make sure we keep our children safe. No child should ever, ever have to feel like suicide is their only way to be safe from torment. If there are any other questions please feel free to email me at jvannattan@hotmail.com. Thank you and God Bless.
Posted by Littia's Auntie on April 20, 2013 at 1:44 AM · Report this

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