Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Plaintiff in bullying case talks with Illinois students
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-10-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Jamie Nabozny, the student who won a landmark case against his school administrators for failing to stop his anti-gay bullies in 1996, addressed more than 100 Illinois students Sept. 29.

Nabozny spoke at a special screening of Bullied, the Southern Poverty Law Center's documentary about his case. Illinois Safe Schools Alliance hosted the screening at Waubonsee Community College in Aurora.

Nabozny, who endured years of torture at the hands of his peers, talked to students and their parents about his experiences, the realities facing young people in schools today and why he thinks punishing bullies does not interrupt discrimination.

"The biggest problem is not intolerance and bigotry," said Nabozny. "It's not knowing what the right thing is."

Nabozny stressed the importance of teaching empathy to young people, especially bullies, who he sees as victims of a culture that teaches intolerance.

It is a lesson Nabozny learned first-hand after his own school administrators intentionally ignored the anti-gay name-calling and violence he experienced in his Ashland, Wis., high school. Nabozny's peers regularly taunted him, sexually harassed him, beat him up and even urinated on him. After one particularly brutal incident during which he was kicked in the stomach repeatedly, Nabozny was hospitalized for five days. When Nabozny and his parents reported the incidents to school administrators, they responded that Nabozny could only expect harassment if he continued to act gay.

After running away to Minneapolis to avoid going to school, Nabozny decided to sue his school administrators. With the help of Lambda Legal, Nabozny won the federal case on appeal, establishing that schools could be held accountable for failing to protect students from anti-gay harassment.

Today, Nabozny travels the country speaking at schools about bullying.

Nabozny advocates against punitive responses to bullying, arguing that punishment fails educate young people and fails to see discrimination as a symptom of society's biases.

Those biases include anti-religious and anti-Muslim sentiments, Nabozny said, adding that communities who may not unilaterally agree on LGBT issues can and should find common ground in a condemnation of violence against students.

Several students and parents at the event stood to thank Nabozny and seek his advice on issues they are facing locally.

One young person reported that when she told her mother she was bisexual, her mother threatened to kick her out. Another parent vented her frustration with a local cyberbullying incident.

Nabozny said cyberbullying is increasingly common and exceedingly difficult for schools to control. But in some cases, he said, young people have crafted their own interventions, responding to negative comments about their peers on the internet.

"Right now, kids are so often not considered part of the solution when it comes to talking about bullying and harassment in schools," Nabozny said. "Kids will think of things that adults never ever would have."

Nabozny encouraged parents whose students face bullying to "climb the ladder" of school officials until someone takes the issue seriously. And he suggested that parents use words like "assaulted" instead of "bullied," which tends to be too vague to evoke a response.

For young people, he had another message: they have every right to feel safe in school.

"It shouldn't have to wait to get better," he said. "It should get better now."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Family-law firm forges new LGBT partnership 2017-05-21 - With the freedom to marry won, naturally the LGBTQ community discovered that it has also come with some heavy baggage including everything from ...


Gay News

Gay teacher fired after being outed by students 2017-05-18 - Democratic candidate for Congress Marie Newman, who will be challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-CHicago) in the 2018 elections, on May 19, ...


Gay News

Southwest suburban progressives to host equality march 2017-05-18 - The progressive group Southwest Suburban Activists will hold the Equality March for Unity and Pride on June 11 at Breidert Green in Frankfort. ...


Gay News

Quigley makes statement on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2017-05-17 - WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ), who serves as Vice-Chair of the Equality Caucus and is a founding member ...


Gay News

Affirming ministries urge CBC to challenge homophobia, transphobia in Africa 2017-05-17 - Washington, DC May 17, 2017 — To commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia ( "IDAHOT" ), The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries ...


Gay News

Huberman named to board of gaming company 2017-05-17 - Ron Huberman—an openly gay man who, at times, headed both Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Transit Authority, and worked in several other ...


Gay News

CPS closes year with queer prom 2017-05-17 - On May 14, Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ), in partnership with GSA Network and The Egalite Group, presented the annual LGBTQ Prom ...


Gay News

Chicago, 14 Other Cities to Host "Welcome Home, Chelsea Manning!" Events 2017-05-16 - CHICAGO, May 17 — To welcome Transgender whistle-blower and anti-war activist Chelsea Manning back into freedom today, Chicago LGBTQs will host a house ...


Gay News

World news: Canadian stamp, Pride festivals, Bermuda OKs marriage 2017-05-16 - The latest Canada Post stamp commemorating Canada's 150th birthday pays tribute to the fact that same-sex couples have the right to get married ...


Gay News

National roundup: anti-HIV molecule, gay politicians, Grindr attack 2017-05-16 - For the first time, scientists have shown that it's possible to reduce HIV reservoirs in people living with HIV, due to a tiny ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.