Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
Tom Johnson, Omaha, Nebraska. Barbara Johnson and I’m originally from Wichita, Kansas.
Tom: Our daughter Brett, she was involved in Proud Horizons in high school as a straight ally, and was it after Blake came out?
Barbara: After Blake came out she found out about…
Tom: So that was 98, so in 99, she attempted to take on the Millard’s, should I say Millard? The local school board. Millard school board! To have them change their code of conduct. To include sexual orientation, GLBT issues, and discrimination against GLBT folk, youth, and she got a coalition of several student Democrats, the Citizens for Equal Protection.
Barbara: GLSEN, PFLAG.
Tom: GLSEN, PFLAG, and made, how many times did she talk in front of the school board?
Barbara: I think 4 times and they’d never put her on the agenda. They had to wait until the school board meeting was over and bring that up at the end. The reason she got involved and started a GSA and tried to get harassment protections at her school is cause she went to a football game and they were playing against a Catholic team. Her school was.
Tom: An all boys school.
Barbara: And a bunch of boys from her high school wore soap on the rope and yelled “faggots” at the football game. And when she reported it, nothing was done.
Tom: The school board, or the administration, the principal, and the teachers, and all that other, said, “well, we didn’t see it. So it must not have happened.” Well, later on that year the yearbook came out and right on the front page of the yearbook was a picture of a bunch of boys at a football game with a soap on a rope, and so she went to the principal and said “See I told ya” and they went “Oh my god, we can’t have that” so they recalled all of the yearbooks that they had handed out and tried to put a black magic marker line through the soap on a rope.
Tom: And that made the entire school really pissed, at our daughter. They had to have security walk her out of the building several times because the yearbook people were like, “you’ve destroyed our yearbook.” laughter
Barbara: And when Brett was going against the school board, going to the school board, to try and get protections for GLBT youth the principal kept her after school one day for over an hour. I was at home, frantic, wondering what had happened, and she came home, red faced, she had been crying and the principal had kept her in the office, asking her why she was embarrassing the school district. Even to this day, even though she went before the school board, and she and her coalition tried to get policies changed in the school code, the school board, not a single one would support protections for GLBT youth.