Students and Teachers Speak Out to Make Scotts Valley High School a Safe Space

On February 7, 2005, there was a School Board Meeting at Scotts Valley High School in response to complaints made by Don D’Andrea, a parent of a SVHS student. D’Andrea feels that posters inside of classrooms with sayings such as, “Safe Person, Safe Safe” and “Respect All Families” are discriminatory towards heterosexual students.

At the center of the controversy were upside down pink triangles posted inside of classrooms.

A pink triangle was worn by prisoners in Nazi Germany whose only “crime” was being born homosexual. It has been adopted by the GLBTI movement both in memory of oppression in the past and as a symbol of hope for a better present and future.

Students and Teachers Speak Out to Make SVHS a Safe Space

By Vinny Lombardo, danielsan, and ~Bradley

More than 300 students, parents, teachers, and administrators turned out at Scotts Valley High School on February 7 for a special board meeting to address charges that the school promotes a “Gay Agenda.” Board members determined that Scotts Valley High is acting in compliance with AB 537, The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in California public schools.

By far the most moving and important words came from students and from teachers. They spoke of the need for open dialogue and education about issues regarding safety and respect. They spoke of the ways they have gone about creating a space for this dialogue and education. They showed that there are problems at the school and that the faculty and administration have identified ways that they can and should be dealt with. They spoke of vandalism, intimidation, fear, violence, name-calling, intolerance. They spoke of communication, solutions, encouraging discussion, education, and dialogue. In short, they demonstrated before the large assembled crowd that they are doing their jobs in a way that deserves our applause.

See Also:

Allies Needed at Scotts Valley School Board Meeting

Audio: Scotts Valley School Board Coverage

Crossposted at Santa Cruz Indymedia: Part I & Part II.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.