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October 26, 2014

Four band members face charges of felony hazing and manslaughter

Four Florida A & M University band members will go to trial next week for the 2011 hazing death of gay drum major Robert Champion, Jr.

Three years ago, The 26-year-old was subjected to a brutal hazing ritual called 'crossing bus C.'

It involved band members beating him with punches, kicks, drumsticks, mallets while on a bus parked in a Orlando, Florida hotel parking lot.

October 22, 2014

Students and pupils are invited to bake a rainbow-themed cake to coincide with the upcoming Anti-Bullying Week in the UK this November

Educate and Celebrate, the UK-based organization that helps schools to become LGBT-friendly, is launching a special competition to coincide with Britain’s 2014 Anti-Bullying Week (17-21 Nov).

In conjunction with Gay Star News, it is asking pupils and students to take part in its ‘Edu-bake & Cel-a-cake’ Great Rainbow Bake Off. To do this, they will have to send in pictures of home-baked rainbow cakes.

The aim of the contest is to raise awareness around diversity issues during National Anti-Bullying Week.

October 20, 2014

As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, pupils at Sheringham High School road tested a new 'Stop Homophobic Bullying' education pack

Pictured here are Year 8 pupils at Sheringham High School in Norfolk, England. To coincide with Hate Crime Awareness Week, the students took part in a pilot scheme last week for a new education pack to tackle homophobic bullying.

The resource, entitled Stop Homophobic Bullying, was created by the county’s BLAH LGBTI Youth group – which has been providing support for young lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the Norfolk area since 2007.

October 17, 2014

Annual Spirit Day campaign had Laverne Cox, Demi Lovato, Billie Jean King and others in purple attire

To mark Spirit Day on Thursday (16 October), a number of celebrities wore purple and millions of other people decided to 'go purple' online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth.

Emmy nominated actress Laverne Cox took things a step further when she took part in lighting New York City's famed Empire State Building purple for the night.

October 16, 2014

Stars of The Fosters and other TV series are showing their support for LGBTI youth by wearing purple

Today (16 October) is Spirit Day – an awareness-raising initiative that invites people to make a stand against bullying and show support for LGBTI youth.

Several celebrities have become involved with this year's event, which invites people to wear purple to show their backing for the campaign.

October 9, 2014

Emmy nominee wants to send strong message against bullying 'so that young people don't have to go through what I did'

Next Thursday (16 October), Laverne Cox will help New York City's Empire State Building go purple.

The Emmy nominated star of Orange is the New Black will be on hand to light the iconic landmark which has been featured in such films as Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember.

The purple is part of Spirit Day which is held each year during National Bullying Prevention month.

Schools and communities are urged to wear purple to show their support and to raise awareness about people who have been bullied in the past and who are still being bullied.

October 5, 2014

Teenager Eric Martin allegedly was harassed with anti-gay slurs

A  US teen, who was called anti-gay slurs and fought back, faces assault charges.

Eric Martin's mother admits her son threw the first punch at a fight at Highland Springs High School, located in the southern US state Virginia.

However, Mary Martin notes her son spent nine days in hospital due to injuries from the fight.

September 9, 2014

The ‘gay’ chair, the child called ‘it’, the girl hit with a softball bat and the kids who think it’s ok to use anti-LGBTI language as long as it’s to their friends

Classroom commotions never bode well, even at the best of times. This was not the best of times: this was half past eight on a Monday morning in an unfamiliar school.

The problem, it transpired, was there were precisely 23 chairs in the room. There were 23 students - the math seemed simple enough. ‘But look!’ came the anguished howl, in a tone so plaintive I half expected the chair to be riddled with spikes.

Instead, a crude hand had wittily scrawled on it ‘whoeva sits on this cHair is gay’ [sic].

September 6, 2014

'Bullying works on a level. You get to be part of the group. The catch is, you’re never really equal. People are afraid of you'

Two-time Emmy winner Jane Lynch knows a thing or two about the main character in her new children's book Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean.

In the book, to be released later this month, Marlene is a bully.

There were times when Lynch was too as a kid.

The Glee star and host of Hollywood Game Night says she realized this while working on the book with her then wife, Dr. Lara Embry, a psychologist who was a consultant on the book.

August 18, 2014

LGBTI African Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide and it’s time to start talking about why

When the first news reports of Robin Williams’ death hit the media, few questioned the report that one of the world’s most beloved comedians had committed suicide.

This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was found dead in his home after committing suicide with a firearm. Many African Americans believed Cornelius must have been murdered by an intruder, even after the official report.

August 12, 2014

A prison officer has been awarded $100,000 after a coworker sent a joke email outing him as gay, but the South Australian judge also ruled saying someone is gay when they aren’t is not defamation

A prison officer in the Australian state of South Australia has been awarded $100,000 over an incident where a co-worker used his email account to falsely out him to around 1,200 contacts.

Former colleague Stephen Kirkham sent an email from Adelaide Remand Center officer Cosimo Tassone’s account in July of 2011 reading ‘Hello people, just a note to say that I am a homosexual and I am looking for like minded people to share time with.’

August 4, 2014

New Stonewall chief, Ruth Hunt, has spoken about the organisation’s future plans to tackle homophobia in schools

In one of her first major interviews since becoming the new chief of UK-based LGBT rights charity, Stonewall, Ruth Hunt has said that she believes educating pre-primary school children that families come in all shapes and sizes – including single and same-sex parents – is vital in helping to tackle homophobia.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, she said that she wants Stonewall to commission books ‘celebrating difference in all its forms for under-fives.’

July 30, 2014

When bullies attacked Liam Hackett he thought he was going to die – and was secretly relieved. Now his charity is fixing the problem for other kids

You know that awkward feeling you get when you go to a party with your friend without knowing anybody else there and your friend disappears?

Without even realizing, fears of rejection quickly set in and you’re left feeling incredibly self-conscious. As a safety barrier, you subtly pull out your mobile and act nonchalant whilst frantically trying to figure out where your mate went.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you anymore, but we can all relate to that distinctive feeling of dread mixed with heightened self-awareness.

July 30, 2014

UK charity Ditch the Label is turning Brighton tropical to fight bullying at its first fundraising party

A party to beat anti-gay and other types of bullying is the newest addition to the summer line-up and GSN is delighted to be getting behind it.

Ditch the Label tells young people its ok to be different and works with schools, colleges and online to offer support and create engaging ways to stop kids from being bullies.

Now the UK charity is hosting its first fundraising party on 15 August.

The team will be transforming a popular venue in the seaside town of Brighton into a beach paradise, complete with palm trees and leis.

July 9, 2014

New songs written to accompany the best LGBTI children’s books are getting young kids singing and dancing against homophobia and transphobia

Kids love books. Kids love music. Put them together under a broad diversity umbrella and something wonderful happens – they learn to accept differences.

This is the thinking behind our new project from my organization ‘Educate and Celebrate’ in the UK.

We already know kids are born prejudice-free and therefore discrimination is learned. That means all forms of discrimination can be unlearned.

And we think getting young children involved in a creative and musical process is one of the best ways to achieve this. Kids’ karaoke!

July 6, 2014

Parents of Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after his roomate broadcast his sexual encounter, have condemned the repeal of New York's anti-cyberbullying law saying young people are the 'most vulnerable' online

New York's highest court on Tuesday struck down an ordinance in Albany County (New York) which outlaws 'cyber-bullying’ against ‘any minor or person'. The court called the law an overly broad statute that violates the First Amendment's protection of free speech.

July 4, 2014

Fewer than one in five secondary school teachers have received training on tackling homophobic bullying

Schoolteachers in the UK think they are banned from talking about homosexuality, a new report has revealed.

Two in five (37%) primary school teachers, and three in 10 (29%) think they are banned from teaching about lesbian, gay and bisexual people and issues.

This very well may be an echo of Section 28, a law instated by Margaret Thatcher’s government that banned the discussion of LGBTI topics. It was repealed in 2000.

June 5, 2014

California’s Tehachapi Unified School District has come to a settlement of $750,000 with the mother of gay teen Seth Walsh who took his own life after his school failed to protect him from anti-gay bullying

The mother of a California gay teen who committed suicide in 2010 after enduring years of bullying at Jacobsen Middle School has settled a lawsuit with the Tehachapi Unified School District – agreeing to receive $750,000 in compensation for its failure to protect him.

Thirteen-year-old Seth Walsh had already been subjected to bullying before he came out at school but things only got worse and he was subjected to physical and verbal bullying inside and outside of school as well as being bullied online and over the phone by other students.

May 15, 2014

A Nevada seventh grader who brought a pistol to school and shot a teacher and two other students revealed in his suicide note that he was angry about being labeled as gay and ‘retarded’ by bullies

Nevada state authorities have released the details of why they think 12-year-old Jose Reyes brought a gun to school and fired on classmates before shooting himself on 21 October last year.

Reyes wounded two other students and killed a teacher before shooting himself just 10 minutes after being dropped at Sparks Middle School by his mother.

A 1,300 page report into the shooting was made public on Tuesday and reveals that Reyes left behind two suicide notes – one for his parents and one for his teachers and classmates.

May 15, 2014

Thailand’s School Rainbow campaign will seek to draw attention to the plight of young LGBTI people this Saturday with a campaign that will see chalk rainbows drawn on the ground at school gates on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

A new campaign against the bullying of LGBTI young people kicked off in Thailand yesterday with students at Bangkok’s Thammassat University drawing gay pride rainbows on the footpath to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The event launch for the School Rainbow campaign saw a colorful performance by a Rainbow All Boy Cheerleaders squad as students colored in the rainbow and wrote messages of support in chalk.

May 12, 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says while he realises homosexuality is a ‘divisive issue’, schools should not turn a ‘convenient blind eye’ to prejudice

Church of England has revealed its plan to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has told all Anglican schools in England the Bible should not be used to justify homophobic behavior.

While the guidance recognizes homosexuality is a ‘divisive issue’, schools should not turn a ‘convenient blind eye’ to prejudice.

May 2, 2014

A shocking survey reports how two in five transgender young people have tried to kill themselves, while 80% of gay teens are bullied

Two thirds of young gay people have considered suicide, while a shocking 80% have said they are bullied because of their sexuality.

New research has revealed a further 37% of gay 13-18 year-olds have attempted suicide as a result of bullying.

It is a similar, sad story for transgender teens. Two in five have tried to kill themselves, while a further 62% have considered suicide because of bullying.

For lesbians, two thirds of lesbians were bullied, and more than half contemplated suicide. 36% attempted it.

April 24, 2014

Massachusetts law has strenghtened protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday (24 April) that strengthens the state's existing anti-bullying law.

The law has stronger protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities. It also recognizes that certain groups are targeted for bullying and provides new reporting measures and data collection mechanisms for schools to use to identify trends.

April 10, 2014

'Nobody in this state or this nation should have to feel bad about themselves for being who they are'

Today (9 April) Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed an anti-bullying law that specifically includes LGBT students.

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act requires school districts to train staff on how to recognize and prevent bullying.

Prevention programs are to be implemented, and districts must focus more on changing behavior as opposed to punishment.