Emma Todd, 18, IL
A year after transitioning into living fulltime as a girl, my mom and I spoke with the principal of my old school. We assumed she would allow me to return as my true self because she had implied that everything would be all right. In a later meeting, the principal uttered the worst words an educator could say: "I cannot guarantee your daughter's safety." It sounded like a veiled threat and an excuse.
Ultimately, I transferred to the public school and even there I experience bullying and harassment. Every student deserves an education that is safe, respectful, and inclusive. That's why I'm asking Congress to support safer schools legislation.
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César Rodriguez, 17, NC
Throughout school I've been demeaned and ridiculed for being one of the few openly gay students in my school. I've been degraded and threatened with physical harm. These issues have occurred consistently in my life since grade school. I don't think I have ever entered my school without hearing the word "dyke," "fag," "faggot," and/or "gay" used negatively against me or other students.
I will be bringing these experiences--and the experiences of my peers--with me when I advocate for safer schools with GLSEN.
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