By Jim Larkin
Creating safe schools and gay straight alliances in Genesee County schools will be the topic with the Genesee County Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays meeting on Nov. 9.
Carman-Ainsworth High School teacher Frank Burger will be the speaker at the 3 p.m. meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, 2474 S. Ballenger Highway. Burger, an openly gay teacher who helped form a gay straight alliance at Carman-Ainsworth, will talk about how to form such groups and cover the status of the Matt’s Safe Schools bill.
Matt’s Safe Schools Bill, named after Matt Epling of East Lansing, who, as an eighth-grader, took his own life in 2002 after severe hazing incidents, still languishes in the Michigan Legislature more than a year after it was introduced in the state House. The bill would require all public schools to adopt anti-bullying policies.
But support for it has stalled in part because some, such as Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan, claim it promotes the “homosexual agenda” by including gender identity. However, the bill — although strongly supported by gay organizations and the Safe Schools Coalition — does not include a list of protected groups.
Burger’s talk on Sunday will follow the regular 2 p.m. support groups. Genesee County PFLAG meets at 3 p.m. the second Sunday of every month at the church.