Friday, May 9, 2008

Students United launch a campaign to strengthen anti discrimination policies in USD259

Guest Posted by Marrque Nunley - Organizer Hope Street Youth Development
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Students United

Students United, a coalition of students from across the city of Wichita, is currently working on a campaign to stop discrimination and protect all students in the Wichita public schools. Our Anti-Discrimination campaign is focused on getting sexual orientation and perceived sexual orientation added to the Anti-Discrimination policy of USD 259. The campaign was started in late 2007 when one of our students brought up the fact that “sexual orientation” was not in the Anti-Discrimination policy. So we, as students, decided to take it on as a campaign.
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We spread the word and got support by numerous students and faculty. Along with some organizations like the NAACP Wichita chapter, the ACLU regional chapter, Kansas Equality Coalition, East Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and other GSA’s across the city, and many other student organization and churches.
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We went to the Board of Education in November. There was no movement until late December when the Board included “sexual orientation” to the Anti-Bullying Plan. We strongly commend the Board for taking this step and including it in the Anti-Bullying Plan. However, this step was not far enough because bullying and harassment are one thing, but discrimination is separate. “Harassment” is a repeated unwanted gesture or action. “Bullying” is the act of intimidating. However, “Discrimination” is excluding someone based on a category that person belongs to.
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To educate the public, Students United will be having a public meeting on this issue.
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Public Meeting
Saturday May 10th
Midtown Community Resource Center
(11th and N. Broadway)
2pm
Everyone is invited to come and encouraged to bring friends. We want as many people there as possible. You really don’t want to miss it!

For More Information Contact:
Marrque Nunley - Organizer
Hope Street Youth Development
316.263.7325 - Office
marrque@hsyd.org

Marcus McNeal - Student Leader
Hope Street Youth Development
316.409.5125 - Cell
MrmacnL09@aol.com

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