Want to know how the Republican Party can reach out to the areas that used to vote for Republicans such as Silicon Valley and the Central Valley? It is quite easy, stop being bigoted towards LGBT people. As someone who was bullied for being perceived as LGBT in high school, I find it disgusting that the political party I was weaned on has throw the raw meat on the balcony instead of expanding our political appeal.
Hearing the rhetoric that led to 97.5% of the Republican caucus to vote no on SB 48 and AB 9 makes me embarrassed to be a Republican. SB 48 and AB 9 is not about indoctrination of our children, it is about making safe and affirming learning environments so our children can learn. Is that too much to ask for, Mike Morrell and Jean Fuller? When I thought the only major hostile legislators were Joel Anderson and Bob Huff, learning that most of the caucus does not care about the marginalized in our school house walls makes me fight harder despite the odds.
When students are in fear of being beaten up and harassed where they take their lives in the instance of Seth Walsh who lived in Jean Fuller’s district or the ongoing harassment by students and staff in Bill Emmerson’s district in Menifee you know that these laws are absolutely needed where a school district failed to provide equal access to a gay straight alliance for gay history month when they allowed the black students association to do a presentation for black history month.
It is absurd when in response to AB 9, Senator Fuller exclaims that, “schools are burdened already with too many “one-size-fits-all” state laws, and local districts should be making the calls.”That’s why we have school boards and superintendents”. However Jean when school districts fail to follow their responsibilities that is when we need new laws to help mandate the school districts to do their job to help provide a safe learning environment so students can actually learn. It is just like in the civil rights movement for the African American community, we pass one round of laws then the states and municipalities flout the laws then we pass another round of laws that have force so those groups would be required to provide fairness and equality to all. Even though we passed school safety laws for LGBT students in our state in the last ten years, unfortunately school districts have flouted the regulations and just left them under the door mat.
If school districts want to avoid lawsuits, their basic responsibility is to do the job they were supposed to do. Protect students from harassment and intimidation and protect the students the right to free expression. If we want to reduce the need for new legislation, we all have to work together to make sure schools are safe no matter what ethnicity, religion or sexuality you may be.