We must protect our LGBTQ kids

As a human being who believes in equality for all, I am convinced that all groups of people should be adequately supported and protected, and that includes LGBTQ+ students in our city schools.

As a parent I know that children are already the most vulnerable of our population. As a local pastor, I know that LGBTQ+ kids are among the most vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and attempts (four times higher than non-queer kids). Much of this is our own fault for not affirming our kids and creating a culture of love and acceptance, and for this I am truly sorry (and for those of us who are Christians, isn’t Christ the most loving and accepting of all?).

However, we can change now! It’s not too late to do the right thing, to embrace our students, all of them and assure them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made just the way they are. We must also protect them from those who wish to bully and harass them, change them, mock and condemn them — especially in places that should be safe for every student: our schools.

I implore the Lynchburg School Board to amend its nondiscrimination policy to include students’ sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression. Let all of our kids see that we truly do love them! No exceptions.

DON HARRISON

Lynchburg

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