To: Pinellas County School Board

Pinellas County (FL) School Board: Don't Side With the Bullies!

Make our schools safe and accepting places for all students. Require tolerance training for all administrators and faculty, encourage gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs in all secondary schools, and sponsor an inclusive curriculum that includes positive images of the LGBTQ community.

Why is this important?

A distressing incident occurred at Meadowlawn Middle School yesterday, when Principal Claud Effiom chose to interpret policy through the lens of his own ignorance, missing an opportunity to teach tolerance by example. My son was penalized for wearing makeup at school by Principal Effiom, who expressed his own belief that boys wearing makeup is ridiculous, unnecessary, and distracting.
My son has endured vicious bullying for the last several years, and unfortunately, he is not the only one. These attacks are terribly damaging to young people, who are already struggling to find their identity. Incidents like the one yesterday only serve to further isolate these kids, who feel abandoned by the educators that are charged with their safety and well-being.
It is unacceptable that these things should be allowed to occur anywhere, but most especially in a community as diverse and accepting as Pinellas County.