Rebecca Lange 0

Mr. Thaden Should Revoke his Apology for the QSA Assembly

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Dear Mr. Thaden, We were deeply disappointed by your apology to East parents and families for the recent Queer Straight Alliance presentation. The school should be proud to have such intelligent, independent, and thoughtful students, and should be encouraging them to speak out against discrimination/injustices as the QSA did. Instead of valuing this assembly as a showcase of the kind of socially conscious, intelligent individuals the school supposedly tries to raise, the East administration chooses to disaffiliate itself from it, which is not only dumb, but also offensive. The assembly simply encouraged students to speak out against discrimination against the LGBT community, by denouncing terms like "no homo" and "fag". Anyone who supports these discriminatory terms, or any kind of discrimination, is not the kind of person the East administration should be trying to cater to. The assembly was also informational. Students were taught the correct terms to use for various sexual identities, and were told which businesses discriminate against their LGBT employees. Surely no one can find any fault with this. East should support its students bravely speaking out against discrimination, and can fully endorse the assembly, just as it endorses the Black History Month presentations, which no one calls "biased". The opposing view is a hateful one, and need not be accepted/catered-to any more than views which are discriminatory against Blacks, women, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, etc. The school rightly supports these groups, and the LGBT community should be treated no differently. Additionally, it is misleading to criticize the assembly on the basis of bureaucracy (the assembly being "mandatory" and "not approved" by the school) -- this is masking the bigotry that is really at the heart of the event's criticism. Parents' complaints centered around the idea that students were being asked to accept their gay peers, and Thaden's apology by phone also apologized to students who felt offended by the assembly. Had bureaucratic processes been the real point of concern, Thaden could have said, for example, "We support the QSA assembly and applaud the students for putting together such a wonderful program, but we ask that in the future they be sure to fill out the required paperwork first". Thaden's actual apology stands in sharp contrast to this, making it clear that East does not support the concept of the assembly in the least, and that the alleged failure to follow procedures is not the true cause of this lack of support. Please support your students as they do what few have the guts, intelligence, or moral capacity to do: Speak out against discrimination and organize a successful assembly to help the student body better understand and combat the discrimination faced by our LGBT friends. Please revoke your apology -- there is no need to be sorry for doing what is right. Sincerely,


East seniors Rebecca Lange and JJ Lang. The letter is in no way sponsored or written by the East QSA, just some other students who decided to stand up for them. Each of the signees supports the views enumerated in this letter, but any additional comments are the views of the individual signee who wrote them and do not reflect the views of Rebecca, JJ, or any other signee.


East Chapel Hill High School: Recording of Thaden's phone call to East families, with apology for assembly: Newspaper article on assembly: Letter by sophomore Henry Gargan, responding to article (scroll to bottom of page): Our letter to Mr. Thaden featured and discussed in national LGBT blog:
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