Opinion: I Believe You And I Believe In You
Jennifer Shiao’s School Committee Blog
Editor’s note: . Jennifer Shiao is a member of the Amherst School Committee. Her original posts can be found here. An archive of her blog posts in The Indy can be found here.
I stand in full support of LGBTQ+ students and staff at ARMS and throughout our school district, and all LGBTQ+ individuals. Anti-queer rhetoric, behavior, or bullying has no place in public schools, nor in a civil society. The information and stories reported in “‘It’s life or death’: failure to protect trans kids at ARMS a systemic problem” (en Español: “‘Es vida o muerte’: la falta de protección de los niños trans en ARMS es un problema sistémico“) are harrowing, heartbreaking, and enraging.
When people stand up and share about being bullied or mistreated, I believe them. When you tell me about how you were harmed by someone who was supposed to help, I believe you. When a mom says that she feared her child wouldn’t make it through the night without harming themself, I believe her.
I also believe in this community. I believe that we can insist on the changes needed to repair the harm that has been done to individual students and to our student community, and to ensure that the harm does not repeat or continue.
I invite you to attend the next meeting of the Regional School Committee, which is currently scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, starting at 6:30, in the Amherst Regional High School library (to access the library entrance after hours, go around to the east side of the building and enter through those doors). The meeting has not been posted yet, but when it is you will find it on the School Committee’s “Boarddocs” site. Public comment will probably be one of the first items on the agenda.
I want to hear about how these stories and reports have affected you and your family. Come to the meeting to support others in sharing their stories. If coming in person will not work for you, you can send an email to SCPublicComment@arps.org, or send a text or leave a voicemail at 413-362-1891. (Emails and texts will be displayed at the meeting; voicemails will be played. Emails, texts, and voicemails must be received by 3:00 pm on the day of the meeting.) You can watch the meeting live on Amherst Media .
I believe you, and I believe in you.
This blog reflects my own views about the Amherst and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees – it does not represent the view of the committees, the district, or the superintendent. This blog complies with Open Meeting Law, as long as a quorum of School Committee members do not engage in deliberations in the comments. Comments are welcome. I may respond to comments, but I will not respond to all comments. Sign up here using the “follow blog via email” form to be notified when I post a new entry. You can email me at email@example.com.
2 thoughts on “Opinion: I Believe You And I Believe In You”
This isn’t the only message the community needs to hear on this, but it’s an important one. Thank you for saying it.
Thank you for being the only school committee member (as far as I’ve seen) to put out a public statement. I understand Ben and you attended the rally yesterday. Thank you for showing up for our students.