LGBTQ Students Targeted Across Pennsylvania
PYC in Solidarity with Victims of Hate Speech, Harassment, and Crimes
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In response to a spike in hate-motivated attacks and intimidation, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress reaffirms their solidarity with LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, indigenous people, those with disabilities, women, Muslims, Jews, and all those specifically targeted for hatred and violence this week throughout the commonwealth.
Following the election, serious incidents of bullying and harassment driven by bigotry in Pennsylvania schools have increased drastically. From hateful graffiti and slurs shouted at students in Southern Lehigh, to intimidating messages left in the backpack of a Latina student and swastikas drawn at Council Rock North; from physical violence and a white supremacist chant at York VoTech, to University of Pennsylvania students sent threatening and terrifying racist messages and images; there can be no mistake: Pennsylvania youth are under attack. The incidents seem impossible to count and track because so many are happening every day.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress issued a statement on the Keystone Student Voice about the urgent need for mobilization toward ending racism, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression, as well as an announcement of redoubling of their longtime work supporting social justice efforts within rural Pennsylvania communities.
As it has for over five years, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress will continue to offer workshops on reducing biased-based bullying and intimidation for schools seeking to counter this latest wave of hate and create more welcoming communities. More information on these trainings is available online at the Pennsylvania Youth Congress website.
Though there has been a noted uptick in incidents of biased-based bullying and harassment in Pennsylvania schools since early October, the developments following the election are seen as the beginning of something different. Pennsylvania Youth Congress Executive Director Jason Landau Goodman said, “This is cause for alarm, and we must respond in full force with love and support for youth affected by these attacks. We ask all people of conscience to support those harmed by these incidents, and pledge to do all they can to ensure our communities are no places for hate. We urge the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association, and other key stakeholders across the commonwealth to work together in this effort.”
Following Governor Tom Wolf’s statement committing his administration to addressing these school-based incidents on Friday, the Pennsylvania Youth Congress has reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Education seeking their continued support in addressing anti-LGBTQ bigotry. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress will continue to advocate for meaningful programs and policies that address biased-based bullying and harassment in all its forms.
The Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) advances freedom and justice for young LGBTQ Pennsylvanians through advocating for responsible public policy. As a youth-led organization, PYC represents citizens working toward safer schools and thriving communities across the commonwealth.
Category: Press Statements