Today is October 20, 2010. No different than any other Wednesday here at SBS. Many girls are dressed in their soccer or volleyball jerseys, classes will end at noon and there will be a mad rush to the dining hall for lunch. It's the same as every other Wednesday except for one very obvious difference.
There are a lot of people wearing purple.
Suicides among LGBT teens have been highlighted in the news lately and the "It Gets Better" project has received support from thousands of LGBT adults and celebrities who are urging teens not to give up, that the bullying ends and it will get better.
This morning as I arrived to see students, faculty and staff alike wearing purple to support the movement originally started on Facebook, I logged into Twitter and Facebook to see tons of tweets and status updates about the day.
One particular tweet from Admissions Quest caught my eye. This morning they tweeted "It Gets Better: Boarding Schools Work to Be Safe and Supportive of GLBT Students - http://clicky.me/2eMf". I clicked on the link and it took me to a post by Sherri Bergman, the Director of Communications at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School.
While reading the post I was struck by one line in particular..
"Yes, it gets better, but there is no need to wait."
Here at Stoneleigh-Burnham School we strive to be an open and supportive community. Our GSA is one of the largest student groups on campus and even girls who aren't members showed up to school today with their purple tops, shoes, pants and leggings. Those who forgot were sporting purple ribbons pinned to their clothes, and still others wore purple ribbons on their wrists in support of their LGBT friends.
In a world that is struggling with teen suicides related to bullying it is comforting to live and work in a community like Stoneleigh-Burnham. Here, instead of allowing bullying or hate we promote an accepting community that encourages girls to be who they are...no matter who that may be. We help each girl to find her voice and follow her passions. We encourage respect and tolerance, understanding and compassion...and we see it every day, in the smiles on their faces and the laughter in their voices.
It's true, it does get better...but if you can find a supportive and accepting school community, there is no need to wait.