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11 years old student Marcel Neergaard Takes a Stand Against Anti-Gay Bullying

11 years old student Marcel believes that lawmakers that bully LGBTQ kids have no business being honored as education “Reformers of the year” and that the time is now to pass legislation to help schools create environments that are welcoming to all kids.

Marcel has launched the online petition “Tell StudentsFirst bullying lawmakers are not educational “Reformers of the Year”. he has also has written about his petition for Huffington Post. Here’s what he wrote:

I am Marcel Neergaard, and I am 11 years old. This year I was homeschooled for sixth grade because of severe bullying. If I had gone back to public school, there is a great possibility that I would have taken my own life. That possibility would have grown if a certain bill introduced in my home state of Tennessee had passed into law. This bill was known as the “don’t say gay” bill. Though that bill never became a law, Oak Ridge’s own representative, John Ragan, introduced a new version of the Classroom Protection Act. It is the “don’t say gay” bill, just more homophobic. While he crafted this horrifying bill, he received an award. I wrote a petition to take a stand against this.

Marcel would like to ask for your help. Visit http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-studentsfirst-bullying to sing the petition.

Over a year ago StudentsFirst named state representative John Ragan their Tennessee educational ?Reformer of the Year.? StudentsFirst continued supporting John Ragan with donations and fundraising on his behalf. In February of 2013, Representative Ragan introduced the ?Classroom Protection Act? which the Tennessee American Civil Liberties Union called ?disgraceful? and an even ?harsher version? of Tennessee?s notorious ?Don?t Say Gay? bill. On April 29, 2013, StudentsFirst made a statement which they felt addressed the situation. While StudentsFirst made it clear they do not support the bill, they declined to rescind the award. Additionally, they did not specify if they would support John Ragan and his efforts in the future. They also gave no indication that they were sorry for donating to and fundraising for the bill?s sponsor. There was no mention that they hoped to help repair the damage their advocacy inflicted on bullied students in Tennessee. The concept of changing the education system to put students first is noble. However, honoring John Ragan, and by proxy his ?Classroom Protection Act,? runs contrary to the very concept the name StudentsFirst suggests.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/WeStandWithMarcel for more info.

Watch Marcel Neergaard StudentsFirst Petition Video