Teenager Takes On Arizona Schools — All Of Them

It’s almost as if you can’t turn around, these days, without bumping into someone suing someone else over something that seems silly to everyone but the person suing and, possibly, the person being sued.  Lawsuits involving kids and schools are no exception — parents seem to sue at the drop of a hat if they feel their precious snowflake has been slighted.  Even so, if there really is a problem, sometimes a lawsuit — or the threat of one, anyway — is exactly what’s needed to make things happen.  And so, Caleb Laieski has contacted school administrators in Arizona with the threat of a lawsuit if they don’t change their ways.  That is, he contacted all of them.

And what got young Caleb so worked up?  The fifteen-year-old suffered threats, harassment, and physical abuse at the hand of his peers simply for being gay.  The experiences motivated him to form the advocacy group Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination and to take action against his own school district.  With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, he was able to convince his district to revise its student handbook, adding bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to its prohibited activities.

Now he’s set his sights higher — he’s taking on all of Arizona.  He has sent a letter to more than 5,000 school administrators, city-council members and state lawmakers demanding that they implement better protections against bullying and discrimination; if they fail to do so, they will face “legal ramifications.”

As Caleb points out in his letter, there were 12 successful and thousands of attempted suicides among LGBT teens last September alone.  It’s outrageous that Caleb’s letters are necessary but I am very glad he has the drive to send them out and, hopefully, make a difference.

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