cheap cigarettes shop, fast delivery, ship by ems, air mail and e-express for about a week delivery time, can guarantee our customers can receive the all parcels.
High schools learning how to deal with Gay Charles Luna came out to his parents at 14 and has never worried about telling people he gay. His friends and teachers know. So do his classmates at Ray High School, even those who don know him well. Yet he never has heard a gay slur in the school hallways or been harassed because of his sexuality. never felt like I can be myself at school, said Charles, a senior. have to be who I am. Charles theater teacher Doug Holcomb, a Beeville native, said his experience as a teenager in the 1980s couldn have been more opposite. Even his small act of campaigning for school cheerleader incited his classmates to scrawl insults on his campaign posters. As teenagers like Charles become more accepting of gays and lesbians, schools like Ray are being forced to address the sometimes tricky subject of sexual orientation and identity, a topic often uncomfortable for parents, teachers and administrators who, like Holcomb, grew up at a time when it wasn OK to talk at school about being gay. Thousands of schools nationwide have bridged that divide by allowing the creation of Gay Straight Alliances, clubs that address homophobia, gender identity and sexual orientation issues. At Ray, Holcomb is the adviser of a club that started this year. Critics say such groups don belong on campus, arguing they would disrupt school or invite conversations about sex that violate abstinence only policies. Advocates argue the clubs are safe havens for students who are at greater risk of being bullied. The controversy that erupted earlier this year over Flour Bluff Independent School District initial refusal to allow a Gay Straight Alliance brought to the fore the problems facing districts nationwide: As attitudes change among youths about gays and lesbians, schools must decide how best to broach a subject that can be controversial and uncomfortable for adults. think that school controls have not caught up with the times, said Christine Sun, senior counsel for the ACLU National LGBT Project. LGBT is becoming more acceptable. Students are coming out at earlier ages, and I think school districts are having a really difficult time handling the issue in an appropriate and lawful manner. Safe environments Teens attitudes about sexual orientation have changed as gays and lesbians have become more represented in popular culture, said Kenneth Schneck, dean of students at Marlboro College in Vermont who has provided training to schools about issues facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths. 34, and I didn have much representation of gay characters on TV except the one guy on 'Melrose Place who wasn allowed to kiss anyone else, he said. Now mainstream, prime time television shows regularly feature gay characters, highlighting in excruciating detail, in the case of what it like to be a gay teen, Schneck said. Despite the more open attitudes, bullying of gay teens remains a problem, evidenced by the widely publicized suicides of gay teens last year, said Graciela Slesaransky Poe, an associate professor at Arcadia University in Philadelphia who provides training on gay youths. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national advocacy group, found that gay students report feeling safer at schools with Gay Straight Alliances. The organization conducted surveys in 2009 of more than 7,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in schools across the United States. Students in schools with Gay Straight Alliances said they heard fewer gay slurs, felt less victimized because of their sexual orientation, missed fewer days of school because of safety concerns and reported a greater sense of belonging to their school. research is irrefutable, Schneck said. students at schools with GSAs feel safer and more supported. That same report painted a more stark picture for gay teens in Texas, showing that, among the 510 students surveyed in the state, many said they felt unsafe and lacked access to resources such as Gay Straight Alliances. As he strolls the school hallways in skinny jeans and checkered Converse, he smacks hands and freely doles out hugs. He banters with classmates about homework and video games and dispenses fashion advice. fitting, he tells a girl asking for tips on a prom dress. too short. Most students seemed confused as to why Charles sexuality was of any interest. His good friend junior Alixandrea Garcia, whom Charles teasingly calls his straight life partner, leaned over to fix his rumpled collar in class and asked, did the GSA do to get all this attention? established, he said. The Gay Straight Alliance at Ray High School, one of the only ones in the area, was founded by senior Andrew Longoria this school year. decided to do it because we needed a group for kids to go to and feel welcome and have the support that this club offers, Andrew said. felt like we needed a group where anybody who felt like an outcast, or alone, is more than welcome. The students meet once a week and spend most of their time discussing club fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. At a recent gathering, club members spent the first half of the meeting dissecting their weekends. went out Saturday and slept all day Sunday, one student said to a high five. Andrew said most alliance meetings are much like other student club meetings: Excuses for like minded students to hang out and earn volunteer hours. He said he never has met resistance from his principal or from other students regarding the Gay Straight Alliance. Principal Cissy Reynolds Perez said she approved the club because she abhors discrimination and tries to be open to ideas pitched by her diverse group of students. just like any other club. . I didn want to judge it, she said. long as they followed all the bylaws, I just did not see a problem with it. Still, so many students nationwide experienced problems trying to start the clubs that the American Civil Liberties Union created a tip sheet with advice on starting a club, outlining common arguments against the organizations, including what the ACLU calls baseless claims that the alliances are too controversial, that they invite conversations about sex and that they open the door to all clubs that could be inappropriate for school, including a club. Those arguments have been rejected in court, said Sun, the ACLU attorney.