Letter: Harassment should have no place at KHS

By on November 5, 2009

Has anyone around you, whether it be friends, family or just people someone you don’t even know ever called you names replacing the word “stupid”? Names like gay or retard or even racial slurs are very hurtful, even if those names are meant as a joke.

Kaneland High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) count how many times they hear insulting slurs everyday and add them up at the end of the week. On average at Kaneland High School in Maple Park, people hear the phrase “that’s so gay” 26 times a day—on average. Racial slurs at Kaneland add on about another 15 to 20 insults a day. Not only is this insulting, but it also degrades those who are gay, mentally or physically retarded or of a different race, which creates a major climate of hate and cruelty.

Being openly gay, I’ve experienced moments like these before. If people don’t like me, then that’s their own problem, and they shouldn’t make someone feel bad for who they are. When people look at me in the halls, every once in a while I’ll hear the word “fag!” shouted out in my direction. It looks like I don’t mind and ignore it, but on the inside it makes me feel lower, just like everyone else who gets mocked for being gay or just different in general.

Being mentally or physically challenged is a hard struggle for those who do have certain birth defects. If you were in that position and someone called you “retarded,” you would most likely feel hurt. Even being related to someone who is mentally challenged and hearing these insults is hurtful. Putting someone through such stupid insults makes them feel like dirt and that they don’t belong.

Harassment has led to many people believing that they don’t belong anywhere. People need to learn how to treat everyone equally and with just as much respect as they deserve. Diversity in school or around towns and cities are great to be aware of because people can see how other people live and be accepting of whom they really are. I hope that some day people would stop being such jerks and learn that no matter how different a person is from them no two people will ever be the same.

Jake Rosko, KHS student

One Comment

  1. RM

    November 6, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    Everyone says things without thinking every day that can be taken as an insult by someone. It becomes a bad habit after many years. Everything overheard that may sound insulting or offensive isn’t necessarily intended to be so. Still this should give us pause to think before speaking. People today are so rude hiding behind texting or other forms of electronic messaging because there is too much anonymity. Something I learned many years ago – insults or slurs by ignorant people you don’t really care about are best ignored. I’m only truly offended or hurt by those I care about or respect when they say something that I know is directed at me. Life is too short to waste time caring about what others think who don’t care about you. You can only control your own actions and we are the architects of our own happiness.