School to lesbian teen: don't be so gay

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School to bullied lesbian teen: don't be so gay

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A school in southern Sweden told a female student to "tone down" her homosexuality as a remedy to bullying from other students for being gay, prompting the girl to report the school for discrimination.

The victim's report, which has filed with the Swedish Equality Ombudsman, explains how the teen had to quit her studies at the Munkgård high school after severely mistreatment from other students.

Teachers at the school were unhelpful when she raised the matter with them, telling the girl to "tone down" her sexuality as other students were "confused and scared" by it.

According to the girl's report, the incidents began when she was assaulted in 2010 by a fellow student who had hit her in the head, causing a minor head fracture.

"She threatened to shove pliers into my eyes and then she took hold of the pliers and delivered three hefty hits against my temples and the area close to my eyes," the girl wrote in the report.

When she later consulted the school about the incident, teachers told her it was all her own fault.

According to the report, the school told her:

"You're the one to blame. It was your own fault. You provoked her," adding that she should have "just hit back."

After online research, the girl discovered that the school must report any mistreatment that occurs during school hours, and confronted the school, only to be told that it was up to her to make a report.

The case is now being handled by the DO, but before any compensation decisions are made, the school will be given the chance to comment, according to DO case officer Sara Stenberg.

http://www.thelocal.se/41860/20120705/

To me the only bit that makes this newsworthy is that it happened in Sweden, generally considered to be one of the most liberal nations on the planet. I guess it sort of highlights that, for all the progress we've made, there's still much to be done in even the most accepting communities.

Sweden eh?

She should have gone Lisbeth Salander on their arses.

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Hey, don't look at me that way Lisbeth!

I'd expect this kind of thing to come out of the USA, but Sweden?! You guys are supposed to be the mature and tolerant ones, where did this come from?

Yeah, it's not all of you, just a vocal minority, blahdyblahdyblah, you know what I mean

I don't care who you are. Unless one student is actively provoking another YOU NEVER tell them it was their fault they got bullied/beat up. That's being a supportive adult 101. Some pople on this planet are just hopeless.

I take two things away from this. One, they gave her the correct response on what to do when it happens. Which is surprising because it's Sweden. Two, this blame the victim shit is bananas, which is also surprising because it's Sweden. Seriously, wtf.

Do you reckon they'd tell a special needs student to not be so different or a black kid to not be so black, etc? No one can help these things, and sexuality issue aside, that's the worst way to handle bullying. Telling the victim of it that it's their fault is almost as bad as the bullying itself. And that kind of violence? These kids should be kicked out in their asses and handed to the police.

purplecactus:
Do you reckon they'd tell a special needs student to not be so different or a black kid to not be so black, etc? No one can help these things, and sexuality issue aside, that's the worst way to handle bullying. Telling the victim of it that it's their fault is almost as bad as the bullying itself. And that kind of violence? These kids should be kicked out in their asses and handed to the police.

Yeah, this blows my mind. She committed a serious crime.

Daystar Clarion:
Sweden eh?

She should have gone Lisbeth Salander on their arses.

image

Hey, don't look at me that way Lisbeth!

She's bisexual, so she can "not be so gay" but this other girl can't. That school's fucked up to tell her that, sackings are in order.

I disagree with blaming her, and telling her to tone it down. I mean, unless she's going around sexually harassing other girls.

But telling her to hit back? Fuck, I wish authority figures in my formative years gave me the green light on that.

But did she do something to provoke the girl. I mean its a lot to go from zero to pliers.

Also......where did she get pliers? did she have them on hand?

Also was the girl bothering others with her sexuality when nobody wanted to talk about it. I know I wouldnt want to hear from another guy on how he fucks women, especially at school.

This is screaming "One side of the story". Really loud. Like, really really loud.

Total LOLige:

Daystar Clarion:
Sweden eh?

She should have gone Lisbeth Salander on their arses.

image

Hey, don't look at me that way Lisbeth!

She's bisexual, so she can "not be so gay" but this other girl can't. That school's fucked up to tell her that, sackings are in order.

I'm aware of that :D

My point still stands.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This is screaming "One side of the story". Really loud. Like, really really loud.

I had that feeling as well. However, the end of the piece does state that we're waiting to hear from the school. In all honesty, stories like this are really easy to believe.

Congratulations Sweden, you can now stop pretending to be intolerant like 90% of Texas, you've earned your yearly stupidity medal. Next week, in stupidity, we join Italy where someone tries to double blackflip off the coast, while tied to some bricks!

From the title, I expected this to be a case where teachers giving a student reasonable advice is taken entirely the wrong way and blown out of proportion.
If a murderer is chasing you and someone tells you to hide in the basement you don't rage at them because "I'm the victim! I'm not responsible for keeping me from being murdered!"

From the story itself though, it seems like there was quite the significant problem.
The problem is that nothing was done about the people who were attacking the girl though; not that some teacher told her to maybe hide her sexuality for a bit.

Oh, and I'm jumping on the "one side of the story" bandwagon.

That's pretty disgusting.
The girl who did that to her should be slung in Juvenile prison for a bit.
Who ever told her she provoked her and should have hit back better get sacked.
As long as she wasn't in their faces with the whole "Look!! I'm a lesbian! LOOK AT ME! Look as I kiss another girl!" then she wasn't provoking the bullies and shouldn't have to "tone it down."

I'm not too surprised though. When I was getting bullied and I told the head of year about it she did pretty much say, "Try not being so weird, then maybe they won't pick on you."
Just bit my tongue from then on.

DJjaffacake:
I'd expect this kind of thing to come out of the USA, but Sweden?! You guys are supposed to be the mature and tolerant ones, where did this come from?

Yeah, it's not all of you, just a vocal minority, blahdyblahdyblah, you know what I mean

Shoot, even in the US the kind of battery they're describing wouldn't fly. Administrators take violence /very/ seriously in the US, to the point that even fighting back if someone attacks you is grounds for punishment. It's idiotic that we take it to that extent, but the point is, Sweden not reacting to it at all is actually stupider than the stupidest story about gay bashing you're gonna hear out of an American school.

Bit of a weird school to respond to a fight that involves weapons of opportunity and real injuries by saying people should resolve it by fighting.

I mean, sure, if you got the tenacity to outfight someone it will work and you won't be assaulted, but a school should be about the last party to encourage that course of action.

Ussually weapons and injuries is where it ceases being a matter of school and starts being a matter of the police.

UUUUUUGH.

Fucking hell, shit like this never gets easier to hear.

I don't really like it when only one side of the story is being told. =/

And lesbians are awesome.

Homophobia still exists.

This is not news, and this has little conversational value.

Also why do you care?
Unless you can sign petitions, write to the school, or do any sort of activism on this, the most you're doing is going : "Tsk, tsk, what a shame....".

Also, I absolutely love this:

"Discrimination is wrong, I thought that was only something Americans do."

Some of the threads that come out of here......

Owyn_Merrilin:
Shoot, even in the US the kind of battery they're describing wouldn't fly. Administrators take violence /very/ seriously in the US, to the point that even fighting back if someone attacks you is grounds for punishment. It's idiotic that we take it to that extent, but the point is, Sweden not reacting to it at all is actually stupider than the stupidest story about gay bashing you're gonna hear out of an American school.

Eh, I wouldn't put too much faith into that. While many American schools have "zero tolerance policies" regarding violence, the whole point of these stories is institutional discrimination. A big part of the problem is school administrations thinking that LGBT students have brought it on themselves for coming out, and that it constitutes a "unique situation" to which the normal rules don't apply. I remember there was one case in New Jersey where a lesbian student was suing the high school she dropped out of for failing to stop harassment, which included injuring an ankle after being pushed down the stairs.

And That's Terrible:
Homophobia still exists.

This is not news, and this has little conversational value.

More or less yeah. I mean, there might be some people that need to be told that homophobia is a serious problem, but then those types aren't likely to be impressed by this anyway.

Aerosteam 1908:
I don't really like it when only one side of the story is being told. =/

And lesbians are awesome.

Agreed with both statements :p

In all seriousness though, this is one sided. As much as the violence done was bad enough, there's not much explanation as to why it happened. It seems very much like it's being sensationalised because it was homophobic violence, and while there should be measures taken to prevent this kind of thing happening (and that's for things like racism and the like too, to be clear), what caused it? I doubt it was a simple as being 'too gay' and having people take a dislike to it.

Those kids should still be arrested though..

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This is screaming "One side of the story". Really loud. Like, really really loud.

Ditto. I want to know why the school reacted the way it did.

Dags90:
To me the only bit that makes this newsworthy is that it happened in Sweden, generally considered to be one of the most liberal nations on the planet. I guess it sort of highlights that, for all the progress we've made, there's still much to be done in even the most accepting communities.

I don't think it's so much a sign that there is still much to do as much as it is one that regardless of how hard you work towards acceptance there is always going to be something or some one who isn't going to agree. It isn't something inherited that you can just permanently stomp out it could crop up any time.

Not that we should stop trying or anything though. The school is pretty fucked up by the way.

LetalisK:
Ditto. I want to know why the school reacted the way it did.

I'm going to guess here and I don't mean to offend anyone but likely I will.

I'm just going to assume that the student in question had a really, really out going personality and was pretty open and over the top.
As I said, pure guessing unless the children just got unbearably cruel because the childs acts of homosexuality had been spread about.

There is no real justification for the action but usually that kind of scenario doesn't just happen, the story seems rather one sided.

LetalisK:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This is screaming "One side of the story". Really loud. Like, really really loud.

Ditto. I want to know why the school reacted the way it did.

It's hard to say that "the school" even reacted a certain way. Notice that the article says "According to the report, the school told her..." (as in, according to the girl's own interpretation of what happened). Of course, the article's emphasis was on the quote following that, to sensationalize things - making it smack of irresponsible journalism.

Dags90:

Owyn_Merrilin:
Shoot, even in the US the kind of battery they're describing wouldn't fly. Administrators take violence /very/ seriously in the US, to the point that even fighting back if someone attacks you is grounds for punishment. It's idiotic that we take it to that extent, but the point is, Sweden not reacting to it at all is actually stupider than the stupidest story about gay bashing you're gonna hear out of an American school.

Eh, I wouldn't put too much faith into that. While many American schools have "zero tolerance policies" regarding violence, the whole point of these stories is institutional discrimination. A big part of the problem is school administrations thinking that LGBT students have brought it on themselves for coming out, and that it constitutes a "unique situation" to which the normal rules don't apply. I remember there was one case in New Jersey where a lesbian student was suing the high school she dropped out of for failing to stop harassment, which included injuring an ankle after being pushed down the stairs.

I'm not saying it never happens, just that it's usually not something this blatant. This is speaking as a nerd (albeit a straight one) who was mercilessly bullied from elementary until the end of middle school, in part because of the way the zero tolerance policies made physically fighhting back impossible. Physical violence in American schools tends to take the form of small, easily denied attacks -- even the story about the girl being pushed down the stairs could be denied, all the bullies would have to do is say "no, she tripped" and have three or four witnesses (you know, fellow bullies -- they travel in packs for a reason) to back them up. Then it becomes he-said-she-said and the administration washes its hands. For bonus points, they can push the victim until they finally snap and fight back in a way that ensures the victim gets caught and blamed as an aggressor. You remember that Australian kid who finally snapped and did a pile driver to his bully? In America, he'd be expelled, while the real bully would get a slap on the wrist. A fractured skull due to an attack with a pair of pliers which neither side denies happening, yet the aggressor isn't being punished, though? Yeah, that wouldn't happen in the US, from fear of getting sued if nothing else.

purplecactus:
I doubt it was a simple as being 'too gay' and having people take a dislike to it.

Er, why? That's hardly unknown. Hell, some places still have it as a defence for assault or murder.

TWRule:

LetalisK:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
This is screaming "One side of the story". Really loud. Like, really really loud.

Ditto. I want to know why the school reacted the way it did.

It's hard to say that "the school" even reacted a certain way. Notice that the article says "According to the report, the school told her..." (as in, according to the girl's own interpretation of what happened). Of course, the article's emphasize was on the quote following that, to sensationalize things - making it smack of irresponsible journalism.

I thought "irresponsible journalism" was just "journalism" and "responsible journalism" was just a fairy tale told to aspiring writers.

OT: Not enough information to form an opinion here. Will wait for more details.

thaluikhain:

purplecactus:
I doubt it was a simple as being 'too gay' and having people take a dislike to it.

Er, why? That's hardly unknown. Hell, some places still have it as a defence for assault or murder.

I know, I guess I was being a little too optimistic there... Realistically it probably will turn out that it was just a case of being 'too gay', I'm just hoping it won't, or rather, that there's another reason (not that that would make the situation any better, but still...).

Well that looks like a total failure on part of the school, I hope there's going to be some layoffs soon.

Swede sticking his head in here. In case any of you are surprised by this sort of thing, let me clear that up by saying that it is still very common here (to take one example out of many) to hear a man/woman calling a guy "gay" because he isn't manly enough. If this still surprises you, I can tell you the Bjästa story if anybody is intersted in hearing.

I am not really that surprised by this sort of thing (which is depressing), but one point of note in the article is that it doesn't seem to specify which town this ocurred in. I used Google maps and got four different towns all in the southern part of Sweden that were named "Munkagård" ("Munkgård" gave me only a hit i Sjaelland, Denmark, oddly enough).

Here is a link to the search I made. Don't know if it will work though.

http://maps.google.se/maps?hl=sv&tab=ll

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