Caleb Laieski, an openly gay 16-year-old from Arizona has taken his proposed Non-Discrimination Act measure before congress to ensure safety for high school LGBT students.
After bullies and death threats drove Laieski from Willow Canyon High School last year, Laieski decided to become an advocate for the Non-Discrimination Act. His first order of business was to insist that the Dysart Unified School District in Arizona amend its handbook to include protection for LGBT students, whether their sexual orientation is actual or perceived.
In a statement provided by the school district to MSNBC’s Crossing the Line, Dysart Unified Administrators say there are policies in place to protect all students in general, and do not think it necessary to make specific alterations.
“The opposition to this bill is the use of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ being a protected class,” Laieski said in a statement, “but it must come down to every child deserves a sage learning environment and the right to his/her education.”
According to the Arizona Republic, Dysart Unified School District has updated its student handbook to include LGBT students. However, after taking a look for myself, there was no such update. The 2011 handbook states:
“Schools must provide all students the opportunity to receive a quality education. The Dysart Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion or age in its programs or activities.”
With the ACLU by his side, Caleb is dedicated to ensuring safety in schools across the country, and continues to fight on Capitol Hill, “for those who are afraid to speak up,” Laieski said, “I am here fighting on the hill for those afraid to fight, but most importantly for those that are no longer with us.”
You can join the cause by contacting your Representatives and Senators.