Tough dilemma, Snood. Your thoughts mirror my own in that it blows that the situation needs addressing and that you're not yet in a position to address it... which is NOT the same thing as selling out. The good you can accomplish once you have some tenure probably outweighs the importance of mucking up your chances of ever being in that position by making a big stink now.
FWIW, the school does appear to be following in the State's footsteps which would probably make your desire to include any particular group of victims fall on deaf ears. The State's code appears to be as non-descript as your school's policy:
§416.13. Student code of conduct; requirement; harassment, intimidation, and bullying; prohibition; exemptions
A. By not later than August 1, 1999, each city, parish, and other local public school board shall adopt a student code of conduct for the students in its school system. Such code of conduct shall be in compliance with all existing rules, regulations, and policies of the board and of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and all state laws relative to student discipline and shall include any necessary disciplinary action to be taken against any student who violates the code of conduct.
B.(1) By not later than August 1, 2001, each city, parish, and other local public school board shall adopt and incorporate into the student code of conduct as provided in this Section a policy prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student by another student.
(2) For purposes of this Subsection, the terms "harassment", "intimidation", and "bullying" shall mean any intentional gesture or written, verbal, or physical act that:
(a) A reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of harming a student or damaging his property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his life or person or damage to his property; and
(b) Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.
(3) Any student, school employee, or school volunteer who in good faith reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying to the appropriate school official in accordance with the procedures established by local board policy shall be immune from a right of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported incident.
(4) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to the parishes of Livingston, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa.
Acts 1999, No. 969, §1, eff. July 9, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 230, §1, eff. June 1, 2001.
That being the case, I would encourage you to consider that although you and I are among the great number of people who believe hate-crimes should carry a premium at sentencing; the opposition's argument is not entirely irrational. The ordinary straight white kid who is bullied mercilessly probably suffers no less from it. Though we happen to think that since the different
kids are targeted so much more often (and in my case that the people who deliberately target the different
show a deeper depravity); it is not completely unreasonable to aspire towards equal protection for all. I would take some comfort in the fact that it probably isn't just the gay kids who can't be mentioned specifically but rather that no special considerations are going towards any group, regardless of how vulnerable they may be.
Not so on the federal level as Obama's lawyers are already using Title IX to include sexual orientation in sexual discrimination, which means from a liability standpoint; the Parish's perceived protection by way of like-minded bigotry in their jury pools is becoming a thinner veneer of protection.
One would think you could work within the School District's parameter of not singling any particular difference out; and simply encourage ALL victims of bulling to report the abuses. In this way a very clear record of violations will be established that will likely demonstrate a high rate of incidence of the targeting of gay student's, and failure to act on this documented
information is precisely what would open the school up to liability in the federal courts.
Rather than objecting to their obvious bigotry, the powers that be might be more pliable with considerations of potential liability and embarrassment. Is any school district so chuck full of bigots that it would be proud to go down in history as the next Board of Education of Topeka, as in Brown v. Board...? I'd like to think not, but if they do; so be it.
Don’t carry too big of burden yourself, Snood. It is unlikely that any amount of protestation from you would change the status quo. Continue to exercise your voice and your vote and try to be a little patient with the appallingly slow rate this nation progresses towards implementing our two century old ideals. There’s a LOT of ground between selling out and igniting your gasoline drenched torso to shed light on a problem that needs attention.