Resolution Aims To Protect Lafayette LGBTQ Students From Bullying
One of the items on the Lafayette Parish School Board's agenda for Wednesday evening is a resolution that aims to increase the awareness about bullying of LGBTQ students.
The resolution was put on the agenda by school board member Eric Knezeck.
He says "we can do more" when it comes to raising awareness of the bullying that happens, and he hopes that it will create a safer environment for students.
Knezeck hopes that by passing, the resolution, the system can improve on some of their programs, and in particular, the policies that are on the books about bullying when it comes to a student who identifies as LGBTQ.
Click here to read the resolution.
Knezeck issues this statement to KPEL today:
"After LCG did not pass a resolution to simply recognize Pride month, I had a very close friend approach me with his total disappointment in our community. He further explained the bullying and discriminatory experiences he endured as a student. I did my due diligence and found out that Federal Statues do not protect students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Furthermore, statistically there is an extremely high prevalence of bullying of LGBTQ youth. That bullying leads to significant negative effects, including suicide. Nearly half of LGBTQ students who experience bullying attempt suicide at least once.
To pretend that our community and our youth treats everyone the same, or with dignity, is an uncomfortable farce. It doesn't, so I did not want to pretend to ignore the fact that these children need our protection to learn in a safe environment. The school board sets priorities and establishes the overall leadership tone of the district. It is our responsibility to step up our awareness and policies to make sure we are doing all we can to prevent this type of bullying.
Someone has to step up. As a conservative republican not running for re-election, and possibly not ever running for public office again, I felt compelled to be the one leading this effort to show that the dignity and safety of all students matters no matter your party, religion, or any other excuse people use to avoid doing the right thing."