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Students and Teachers Speak Out to Make SVHS a Safe Space

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.

Audio: Scotts Valley Parents Protest Gay Tolerance
Audio: Scotts Valley School Board Coverage
Photos and Reportback: Scotts Valley High's students and teachers speak out!
Photos: Community Comes Together To Support Through Differences
Photos: Respect All Families

Matt Otterman, a teacher at SVHS, spoke about the need to provide a safe space inside the classroom. (Download the mp3)

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