'Dated beliefs' keep LGBTQ+ students sheltered
In late August, debate arose over the display of a rainbow pride flag in a classroom at Bluffton-Harrison Middle School. This prompted the board to meet to discuss “controversial topics.”
On Sept. 13, the board voted unanimously to remove the flag, as well as to forbid the display of pride flags and other items that could provoke controversy. The teacher, Beverly Balash, says she will put up other rainbow iconography to signal a safe space for LGBTQ+ students, but the actions taken by the school board are incredibly disrespectful to the already-marginalized community.
One's sexual orientation is not a matter of choice and is part of one's identity. The banning of the ability to express that identity is unneeded censorship.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have been prevented, time and time again, from properly expressing themselves without fear of reprisal. Queer children may not be able to come out to their parents because of their beliefs, or risk ridicule from their peers. They require a safe space at school, where they spend a majority of their waking hours during the week. When pride flags are removed, that's almost sending the message that they're not allowed this safe space and that their identities are still considered “controversial.”
We have to remember that oppression and discrimination are still widespread. Queer students should not have to censor themselves to respect the feelings of those who ascribe to dated beliefs.
Jettison unfunny comic
As I read The Journal Gazette from front to back daily, I realize there are many issues on which I have strong opinions: the humanitarian mess in Afghanistan, the inability of Jim Banks to serve his constituency, the fact that there are no laws governing men's bodies, the environmental mess of climate change. I could go on and on, but I also realize I have little control over any of that, other than my vote and my conscientious attention to our environment.
However, I am asking The Journal Gazette to take a close look at the comic strip “Diamond Lil.” It's not funny. I think its creator is lazy. Let's dump it.
Leadership makes a difference.
Allen County has been fortunate to have the talents, intelligence, vision, industry and enthusiasm of Randy Brown leading the War Memorial Coliseum.
Our family has enjoyed many events and activities over the years during Brown's management. We are thankful for all of the effort he has invested in our community.
The Coliseum is a world-class facility. Brown has involved himself in the International Association of Venue Managers.
He has employed the straightforward business model of learning what is available elsewhere and adapting it for the Fort.
Thank you to Randy. Our family wishes him and his family a long and healthy retirement. He has truly earned it.
Margaret S. Vegeler