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Gay Teens Forced to Attend Special School Due to Bullying

Discrimination – like bullying – is unacceptable in any form.

What you or I may describe as discrimination or bullying is a matter of opinion and a discussion for another time. What is important today is to talk about the relationship between discrimination and bullying as it relates the story of Q High School, one of the select schools across the country that cater specifically to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender (GLBT) community.

The Q School was put together to help teens like Kailee Hernandez from Phoenix, AZ. Hernandez came out to her friends in school at age 15; she said when she did, everything changed. Her friends would taunt and tease her; people would go silent when she walked into class. She said it got to the point where she felt so stressed that she couldn't focus on her studies. It got so bad that she decided to drop out of school.

This is where a school like the Q School comes in. People from the GLNT community can attend classes here in what the school refers to as a "harassment free environment". For Hernandez, the program is working because her grades have recovered, she is happier and on pace to graduate and achieve her dream of being a pharmacologist.

Having institutions like the Q School is a good thing, but I have a question; was what Hernandez was going through discrimination, harassment or bullying? And, if someone is being discriminated or harassed, what decides that they get a special school just for them, versus someone who is being bullied, but there are no schools for people just being bullied?

I think these are interesting questions, but let's look at something else; how are bullying, discrimination and harassment linked? Or are they?

Discrimination, which is defined as, "The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex" and "Recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another" can be reasons why someone is selected to be bullied. The victim (for whatever reason) is perceived as different, the bully thinks they are superior to the victim and decides to bully the victim.

Harassment, which is defined as, "The act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats or demands" could also be called bullying. The hairsplitting difference can be when things get physical, but we won't get in to that now.

While I won't speak to the veracity of the idea to have special schools for special groups, I will say this; it makes sense to me that someone like Hernandez who feels discriminated and harassed (bullied) has every right to stand up for herself against bullying as anyone else. Knowing that she identifies herself as "different" to some people opens her up to being targeted for bullying and I would think that she would want to prepare herself accordingly, both mentally and physically.

Now before those of you out there who are a part of the GLBT community get all fired up and shoot a nasty gram to me, saying, "Why should she have to prepare herself to be bullied just because she is GLBT? That is discriminatory and unfair!", let me ask you a question…

If heart disease runs in your family, is it "fair" that you have to work harder on your diet, eat cleaner than others, watch your alcohol intake, keep your body fat down and exercise more than others? No, it is not. But so what? "Fair" has nothing to do with it; it is genetic, it isn't going away, so you have to deal with it.

Same goes for bullying, no matter if you are a member of the GLBT community or not. While we do want to educate others that discrimination and bullying is wrong, regardless of any factors, the fact is that discrimination and bullying are a part of the human condition. It is in our nature.

Yes, education can help further the cause. Look at women's right today versus a hundred years ago. Look at the civil rights movement today compared to a hundred years ago. Things are far from perfect in those areas, but they are light years ahead of where they were, and that is because of our culture growing and becoming more educated.

However, education alone is never going to be the answer nor solve the problem; it is like people that you and I would describe as "A-holes". There are always going to be "a-holes" in the world to deal with; no amount of education, laws, regulations, special groups or schools is every going to change that. The power lies with learning how to deal with "a-holes" effectively so that they don't take your power away from you.

"A-holes", discrimination, harassment and bullying are here to stay; the question is, "What are you going to do about it?"

Stay strong,


P.S. – One of the things you can do about it – regardless of what group you may or may not belong to – is to make sure you have the information contained in the book, "Bullies Suck" and The Ultimate Bullying Solution Society Newsletter. It is where you can get your hands on the latest, works-in-the-real-world, uncensored information on how to deal with bullying and cyber bullying in schools, at work and at home. It ought to be required reading for anyone dealing with a bully in life, be it a person, place, group or thing. Get yours today…


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