GLSEN of Middle Tennessee releases statement on bullying epidemic

GLSEN of Middle Tennessee has released a statement in regards to the death of Gordonsville teen Phillip Parker, who took his life last week after years of bullying about his sexuality.


Bullying is an endemic problem in Tennessee schools. The recent suicide of Phillip Parker in Gordonsville, Tenn. highlights this very problem. His is a horrific story that reflects on the school bullying culture and how it can lead to tragedy. Such cases are not new, but do reveal an important trend: the public is becoming more informed and in tune to the realities that adversely affect our youth. However, it is now up to the public to not just be aware, but to be active in changing this reality. 


Anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) bullying is one of the most pervasive forms of bullying and often the weapon of choice for bullies, regardless of the bullied student's sexual orientation. Yet many schools have not effectively addressed anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment even though there are tools provided to them right here in Middle Tennessee.


“There are professional development opportunities and Safe Space Kits offered to educators and administrators on how to effectively address anti-LGBT bullying and create safer spaces for these youth,” remarked Brad Palmertree, Co-Chair of the Middle Tennessee chapter of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network), the leading education organization in Middle Tennessee focused solely on ensuring safe schools for all students. “This shouldn’t be happening. Each school in Tennessee should be a safe environment in which to learn and grow. We have the resources, and we’re more than willing to help. But the school has to invite us in because, unfortunately, this kind of diversity training is not required.” 


Studies show that when an LGBT youth knows there is an affirming teacher, school nurse, clergy member, or parent they can trust, they are much more likely to turn to them for help when they are bullied or depressed. Similarly, when a school or community has a Gay-Straight Alliance or other affirming  and accepting group, young people are less likely to feel isolated and can turn to peers and faculty advisors when they need help. 


But this cannot happen if the “Don’t Say Gay” bill (SB49/HB229) or the “License to Bully” bill(SB760/HB1123) become law. Both of these bills promote the isolation and denigration of LGBT youth and even those who may be perceived to be LGBT. “Arkansas recently enacted a strong anti-bullying law that explicitly protects all students,” says Palmertree. “But Tennessee lawmakers insist on introducing, debating, and passing bills that don’t just ignore the problem of bullying, they encourage it.”


“Without a paradigm shift in our school culture, schools will not be a safe learning environment for anyone. We need inclusive policies that help - not hurt - students. And we can’t do that without support from the community and that includes our elected officials.”

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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