Make Ally Week last longer

Make+Ally+Week+last+longer

Tasha Feges, Assistant Photo Editor

Every October, students plaster posters and visit classrooms throughout SFHS to advertise the national event known as “Ally Week”. This week should be an empowering event, but every year I feel there is not enough preparation and it feels insulting that it occurs during one of the shortest weeks of the trimester.

“Ally Week is a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate Allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools,” states allyweek.org.

I understand that it is National Ally Week, but sometimes that’s not enough for our school. I believe that everyone should care and stop the bullying of these kids that are just trying to be who they are. I think that “Ally Week” should be “Ally Month.” Even better, “Ally Year.” If we are taking a pledge to not bully, harass or torment the LGBT community, I say that we should always do this, not just for a week.

According to The Suicide Prevention Resource Center, studies have estimated that 30% to 40% of LGBT youth have attempted suicide due to bullying. Too many teenagers nowadays are killing themselves because they are different or feel different or are treated differently.

“LGBT students are three time as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%) and 89% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year, ” according to  thetrevorproject.org.

This epidemic must be stopped. I propose that instead of pledging to stop bullying for three days out of the year, we stop bullying.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides, under Article 19, that states should protect children from all forms of physical or mental injury or abuse. The United Kingdom has already passed legislation requiring every school to have an anti-bullying policy. In 2007, the state of Iowa enacted a new law requiring every school district to adopt written policies against bullying and harassment. This brings to 19 the total number of US states that have laws against school bullying,” according nobully.com.

I’m aware that we have a non-bigotry statement posted in every classroom in the school. The pledge states: “Regardless of race, ethnicity, natural origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and ability, you will be treated and respected as a human being. Ignorance, bigotry and harassment with not be tolerated.”

This would be a better pledge if it was seen and enforced more.

Teenagers these days need to know that they’re not alone. While Ally Week is a good start, I look forward to the day when every day is anti-bullying day.

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