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4.24.12 Progressive Caucus - HB2051 Letter to Leaders

4.24.12 Progressive Caucus - HB2051 Letter to Leaders

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Published by ProgressMissouri

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Published by: ProgressMissouri on Apr 24, 2012
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04/24/2012

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HOUSE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS
 
April 24, 2012Dear Speaker Steve Tilley, Rep. Steve Cookson, Rep. Tim Jones and Rep. John Diehl,We, the Missouri Progressive Legislative Caucus, are asking you to withdraw your support of HB2051 and reconsider your intent.Along with Missouri NEA, PROMO and almost 3000 students, teachers and supporters alreadyto date, we express our extreme disappointment of this bill. HB2051 threatens to reduce thesafety of many students throughout Missouri solely based on their sexual orientation orgender identity. There are numerous serious ramifications of this proposal. For example, the "no material andno extracurricular activity" clause would stifle themore than 80 gay-straight alliancesthatmeet in Missouri high schools and are a tremendous resource for kids struggling with theirsexual identity.Missouri NEA President Chris Guinther, a teacher on leave from the Francis Howell SchoolDistrict in St. Charles said, “Schools, above all, need to be safe havens for students.Educators want to help students, but HB2051 would make them afraid for their jobs. We haveto untie their hands when they feel they should act or intervene in a situation that arises.Educators shouldn’t have to fear for their jobs when they want to act to help students."A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO said, “By attempting to coerce teachers andstudents into making the core reality of their lives literally unspeakable, they have onlyproved why LGBT students need greater, better, and stronger protection in our schools.”
 
If you truly have the well-being of all of our students in mind, then we urge you to supportand pass a good anti-bullying bill this session instead.In a rare and forceful act of advocacy, a Sioux City Iowa newspaper devoted the entire frontpage of its Sunday edition April 22 to an anti-bullying editorial after a local teen committedsuicide.Please don’t contribute to this national suicide epidemic by turning your back on Missouristudents who need support the most – support they currently find at school.We earnestlyhope that you will put compassion and student safety before political agenda and reconsiderthis decision for the sake of our young people.Sincerely,
Missouri House Progress Caucus and others: Representatives Ira Anders, Bert Atkins, GailBeatty, Susan Carlson, Chris Carter, Mike Colona, Rochelle Walton Gray, Rory Ellinger,Brandon Ellington, Leonard Hughes, Tishaura Jones, Jason Kander, Chris Kelly, Jeanne Kirkton,
 
State Rep. Stacey Newman
Progressive Caucus Chair 
State Rep. Mary Still
Progressive Caucus Vice-Chair 

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