Social justice and tolerance must be taught in high school

Same-sex marriage was legalized across all 50 United States on June 26, 2015. Two years later, we are still struggling for acceptance.

We as young people should be more willing to accept the LGBTQ community because our generation is the most queer-identified. As a person who has friends that are a part of the LGBTQ community I am more open-minded to the struggles that my friends face with people who are uneducated.

High school kids Olathe Northwest High School in Kansas harassed LGBTQ students at a homecoming game. The students were yelling at the kids to make “America straight again,” repeatedly telling them to kill themselves and throwing objects at them. Parents and the principal were unaware of the situation, which caused outrage from people on social media who praised the victims to stay strong.

High school should be an environment where teens should express themselves and look for their true identity. It is hard to do this if other students are being offensive and physically harming a student because they are different. For example, The Williams Institute UCLA school of Law,  “40 percent of LGBT kids are homeless.” Family rejection is one of the major factors which is upsetting because family is where you should be able to express yourself and not be judged. It should be a place of unconditional love.

Some might say that bullying is a part of high school and growing up, and others might not have sympathy for students who are a part of the LGBTQ community because most kids learn from their parents at an early age about how being different is not acceptable.

But bullying becomes serious when young teens are committing suicide because of the pain they have to endure in high school but also home for most teens who parents don’t accept them for who they are. People do not understand the seriousness of bullying until they experience it or a loved one does which by then will be too late to try a make a change.

At my high school, we have a social seminar class where our teacher prepares us for the real world by exploring topics like how transgender people are not accepted, society placing us into separate categories and equality vs. equity. Our teacher is trying to create peace and not hate starting with LGBTQ community. Each student is entitled to their own opinion and is respected whether we agree with each others perspective.

We should not have to be afraid to be who we were meant to be and we should not put up with others foolishness but instead walks with our heads held high and be more educated to LGBTQ communities. As a person who is straight and has queer friends, I admire them because they are open and do not let others stop them from being themselves. I believe schools should require a social justice seminar class because it educates us more about the world and not to be degrading towards others who are different.