Sunday, April 02, 2006

Protect ALL of Idaho's children

Rep. Bob Nonini from Coeur d'Alene has proposed a bill to require parental consent BEFORE any student can join ANY school club. It was not given a hearing but was sent directly to the floor of the house and will be up for a vote on Tuesday April 4, 2006.

What is the purpose of this bill? Are too many parents complaining about the subersive recruitment of their children into Chess Clubs? Or Honor Society? Does Nonini want to make sure parents give permission for their children to join the dangerous Ski Clubs? What is the purpose of this bill?

And why didn't it receive any hearings? Is this an issue that is so critical in order to maintain parental control that it needs to be rushed through the process? Is he worried about the health and safety of Idaho children who are joining the Reading Club this month? Is he frightened of the impact upon Idaho children if they join the Dodge Ball Club?

Is it possible that perhaps Nonini has his own agenda?

I think that Nonini is attempting to force his homophobic beliefs upon Idaho citizens. Because, really, what is the big deal about parental consent before your child joins a club at school? Why is he trying to sneak this in?

He is trying to seek this into law in order to prevent gay and lesbian students from having support clubs. I guess by eliminating the clubs, he believes these students will no longer be gay or something. When the truth is that these students will only be prevented from receiving support and acceptance.

We need to acknowledge that gay and lesbian children are STILL Idaho's children, even if conservative bigots wish to demote them to second class citizens.

We need to be aware that without some support outside the family, many teens turn to suicide.

FORCING our children to seek parental consent in order to seek support will put many teens at risk of parental violence or homelessness.

We also need to be aware that schools in other states have lost multi-million dollar law suits for failing to ensure kids have a safe environment in which to learn.

How many of us remember the trauma experienced by our classmates who didn't fit in when we were in school? How many of us remember how the bullies physically and emotionally assaulted the kids who were different? Did that change them? Or did it scar them? How can we, in good conscience, create a barrier for Idaho's children as they try to seek acceptance and support?

It is my understanding that the highest cause of death among gay and lesbian teenagers is suicide. In my opinion, this is NOT acceptable.

For more information as to what steps are being taken in order to protect these children, please go to 43rd State Blues.

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