PFLAG conference in St. Paul aims to make schools safer for LGBT youth

“We need to give them the power,” said Jaime Nabozny. “We need to give them the words, and we need to give them permission to stand up because they have the solution. “Nabozny, a Wisconsin native and the keynote speaker for PFLAG Twin Cities Cultivating Respect: Creating Safe Schools For All Students event, got into public speaking after he won a case against three of his middle and high school principals for failing to effectively deal with his many complaints of harassment and bullying for his sexual orientation.The day-long event, held at Hamline University also featured a student panel, a resource fair, an evening dinner, and an awards ceremony honoring an outstanding parent, educator, organization, and student-led organization. The event and Nabozny’s speech focused on fostering a safe school environment for all students. PFLAG board member Carol Curoe said the event was meant to promote the health and well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.Prevention is the KeyNabozny believes the students who have the power to stop bullying are neither the bully nor the victim of bullying, but rather those students who are bystanders.“When bullying is addressed in schools we punish the bullies,” he said, “and we send everybody back to class and we hope everything works itself out, and it’s not working, We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with bullies.”Nabozny told the crowd of students, educators, school administrators, members of the LGBT community and allies, that prevention should be a top priority. Continue Reading