Incendiary Harassers Wreak Havoc Against GSA

Things got heated (almost literally) between a few students and the Gay-Straight Alliance at Botwood Collegiate High School in Newfoundland, according to CBC.

Two members of the GSA commented that there is a growing amount of harassment towards members of the alliance, initially with the club's posters being vandalized and then moving onto threats of physical violence. Ashley Hoskins, a junior at the high school said that the harassers "wanted people to die. They wanted to throw us in a box, light us on fire and throw us out in the river." She also noted that the harassment has increased in the past two weeks, equating the threats to a civil war between the harassers and the Gay-Straight Alliance and that many people took off a week or more from school because they did not feel safe. 

The school is not doing its job in disciplining the harassers, as they are simply suspended and when they return to school they continue to harass the GSA. Tony Stack, the chief executive officer of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, said that the school will resort to any means necessary to stop the harassers, including expulsion. 

Daniel Peckford, another student at Botwood Collegiate, said that the GSA posters were covered up with such things as "gays are not welcome in our school, they're stupid, they shouldn't be allowed" and with the straight pride flag. Peckford also mentioned that he is confused by the insinuation that the development of the Gay-Straight Alliance excludes straight people and that he doesn't think anyone in the school has ever been bullied for being straight. 

The school staff has been supportive of the GSA however, as the school will have classroom sessions in which they will discuss the school's inclusion policies. The school district is also planning on providing training and education regarding LGBTQ issues. 

This type of harassment is truly repugnant and nobody should have to deal with threats of being set ablaze. Peckford has the right idea though, as he believes that the best way to stop things like this from happening is through education. 


h/t: CBC

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