A recent LGBT Orlando shooting incident will have an impact on how schools will have to operate. The incident will eventually force school to operate differently because they are receiving federal funding. Schools can offset the complications associated with LGBT Orlando shootings by evaluating and enhancing policies and procedures.
According to the article, Too Gay’ banner at N.J. school becomes tribute to Orlando, the movement to protect the LGBT community has reached the schools. A student’s long-planned art project which is supposed to honor hangs from the clock tower of the Columbia High School and bears the words “Too Gay.” This banner went up after the LGBT Orlando shooting. The banner was created by sophomore AP art student John Bell. According to Bell the banner’s text is meant to provoke a conversation about the extent of cultural acceptance gay people truly enjoy.
Bell continued to state that “on the surface, society claims to accept gay people. But if we are flamboyant or very open about our gayness, are we ‘too gay’? So, as an artist, I am basically challenging how people may view gay people, and also celebrating Pride month.”
In response to the banner, other Columbia students, alumni, and their families praised Bell’s display as a fitting honor for the dead and wounded from the LGBT Orlando shooting. However, one student told News 4 New York the banner could make the school a target for more violence. Not only can the banner induce an influx of violence at the school but it could involve a feeling of discrimination. This is the major challenge.
The one major challenge that the Columbia High School administration will face is that by allowing the hanging of a banner associated with the LGBT Orlando shooting is that every group should have an opportunity to hang a banner to support their cause. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Indians, etc. now should have an opportunity to voice their cause by the hanging of a banner. Columbia High School administrators have set a precedence that if not followed will result in complaints centered on discrimination.
What is discrimination that has now been associated with the LGBT Orlando shooting?
People discriminate with every decision that they make. We discriminate when selecting what to watch on TV, what we prefer to eat, and what clothes we prefer to wear. However, in the context of civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual (or group) based on certain characteristics which include:
- Marital status
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
How does discrimination apply to schools which could be associated with the LGBT Orlando shooting?
The United States Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive Federal funds from the Department of Education. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin, sex, disability, and on the basis of age. These laws extend to all state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, vocational schools, proprietary schools, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries, and museums that receive U.S. Department of Education funds.
Schools should respond to the LGBT Orlando Shooting by either allowing all nationalities to express their grief or not allowing any nationalities express any grief at all. This the school remains consistent with the federal requirements for schools that receive federal funding.
Once this precedence has been set the school board must develop and implement policies that are consistent across the board.
In regards to the Columbia High School administration, located n the South Orange and Maplewood School District, they must receive a sever penalty for their actions associated with the LGBT Orlando shooting.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
The Raccelerate Phenomenon
Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President