Victimization of GLBT Youths

Essay by nappiecatA, September 2009

download word file, 23 pages 4.0

"Where do human rights begin? In small places close to home."~ Eleanor Roosevelt"In 1995, Derek Henkle was a very bight 14-year old student in the Gifted and Talented program in high school. Despite the on-going harassment and abuse he had endured because he was openly gay, Derek had expectation of graduation with high honors and attending a top college. Later that year, two boys strung a lasso around Derek's neck and threatened to drag him from their pick-up truck. School officials responded to the incident by transferring Derek to an alternative high school for students with educational and behavioral problems, stating that Derek would be "safer" there. At the new school, the principal demanded Derek to hide his sexual orientation, and said to him, "I won't have you acting like a fag." After a semester, Derek was transferred again for his safety. Again, Derek was told that he was not allowed to talk about his sexual orientation to other students or openly identify himself as gay.

Despite the gag order, word got around. In the fall of 1996, two school police officers witnessed Derek being punched six times by another student, did nothing to break up the fight, and even went as far as discouraging him from reporting the incident to school, even though Derek was bleeding severely and had hearing and ear drum trauma. After this incident, at age 16, Derek quit school," (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, 2002).

IntroductionThere are many people in this world - some who even live close to home - who exhibit hate toward those who are "different." Frankly, it is unacceptable. Ignorance and intolerance affects society as a whole, which is why there is a need for strong activists to stand up for those who may be unable to do so for...