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Editorials and Opinions

South repudiates homophobia

By Volume 49 Senior Editors
Published: March 2009

Yesterday, Newton South participated in a school-wide extended long-block advisory and discussed the issue of homophobia. This discussion was in response to recent anti-gay incidents within our community that have sparked conversations among students and faculty.

While taking measures like the extended homeroom are steps in the right direction, the school should not wait for serious troubles to arise to discuss tolerance.

South should provide a safe environment for all. Yet in the hallways, cafeteria, or library, students utter anti-gay remarks and jokes.

Teachers and students alike all too often allow these remarks to remain unnoticed, cultivating a school atmosphere with an unacceptable undercurrent of homophobia.

Remaining silent in response to conversational homophobia is, unfortunately, equally responsible for the recent anti-gay hate crimes as are the anonymous culprit(s).

South’s silent majority is, by their wordless assent to everyday instances of homophobia, perpetuating a climate of disrespect for people’s differences. But it can find a solution to prevent future occurrences of hate.

The community should not have to respond to hate crimes, but instead, push to prevent them from happening in the first place. It is appropriate to discuss homophobia not only when community members are threatened, but also when people use anti-gay terminology colloquially and in casual conversation.

South has taken an active role in advocating tolerance, having established the first Gay/Straight Alliance in the nation. However, despite such monumental steps towards acceptance, homophobia is still prevalent in the school.

Denebola urges Newton South to take the initiative to address homophobia as an entire community, so that someday, sexual orientation will receive the respect it deserves.

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