Dartmouth cancels classes after protest
According to the Associated Press, Ivy League university Dartmouth College cancelled classes after negative reactions to a controversial protest. During a student performance last Friday where hundreds of high school seniors were in attendance, about 15 Dartmouth students stood up and chanted, “Dartmouth has a problem!” The protesters were referencing alleged homophobia, sexual assault, and racism on campus. College spokesperson Justin Anderson said online threats of bodily harm were made against protesters and their perceived supporters compelling administration to cancel classes April 24. Instruction was instead replaced with programs that focused on the college’s commitment to fostering respectful debate.
Rep. Polis reintroduces bill to protect LGBT students
Washington Blade reports a bill that would protect LGBT students in public school from bullying and harassment has been introduced in the U.S. House. Rep. Jared Polis, a former chair of the Colorado State Board of Education and the most senior openly gay member of the House announced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) on April 17. Modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, SNDA establishes LGBT students as a protected class and prohibits schools from discriminating against any student based on actual or perceived sexual orientation of gender identity. The bill has already received bipartisan support and thumbs up from numerous LGBT and human rights organizations.
Students take a tough stand against bullying
Students and administration at Sunset Ridge Middle School in Salt Lake City, UT joined forces last year in a truly inspiring anti-bullying campaign. When someone scribbled a cruel message on a sticky note and placed it on the back of an unsuspecting student, the entire school took it personally. Students in an anti-bullying ambassador program mobilized teachers, administration, and more than 1,000 members of the student body to stand in solidarity against bullying. Participants showed up to school wearing sticky notes with the message “Not in Our School, Stop the Hate,” in support of the victim. Their courageous actions caught the attention of Disney who will be filming Sunset Ridge as a model program to stop bullying.
Bowling Green University launches ‘Not in Our Town’ campaign
Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, OH launched a Not in Our Town campaign in response to racially charged Tweets from its students aimed at African-Americans. More than 200 people attended the campaign event, showing their support for achieving a diverse and inclusive academic environment. Keynote speakers included Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards, University President Mary Ellen Mazey, and Black Student Union President Tiffany Smith and Vision President Liz Grabski. Vision is an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students at Bowling Green University. Attendants got the chance to watch a short PBS documentary about universities where hate crimes occurred and were asked to sign an anti-bullying pledge to be submitted to Not in Our Town campaign. Supporters are also currently using the hashtag #notinourschool on Twitter in anti-bullying tweets.