Hannah’s actions and decisions make me sad sometimes. For long stretches I wonder how she’ll ever make it in the world.
But she is also the person through whom I have had the opportunity to know true awe and pride. (You might not know that Hannah fought and won a complicated lawsuit against the Nassau County School Board when they denied her the right to start a Gay Straight Alliance at her middle and high schools. The case went on for a couple of years and even when the high school case was settled, Nassau County intended to take Hannah to trial over her middle school discrimination case.
In the end, a settlement was reached. Would you want to go up against this woman on a witness stand?
You can see Hannah on Penn N Teller’s “Bullshit” in the following clip, starting at 1:44, putting it out there what attacking her on the witness stand would net those guys. Smart move, Nassau County.
On Saturday I watched my daughter bring her baby girl into the world free of painkillers, intervention, and most of all free of fear. She was a fierce warrior and at one point even exclaimed irritably, “I got this” when I tried to manage her.
Here is Celica Leigh. She came into the world surrounded by love and Hannah’s chosen family, in the home that Hannah has made for herself and her family. She weighed 8 lbs and 8 ounces and was 21 inches long.
I was proud to be there watching my daughter fight intolerance in Nassau county on behalf of students everywhere who want to legally form a GSA at their school- outside the federal courthouse yesterday before the motion hearing in this case. Pictured with myself and Hannah is Benetta M. Standly of the ACLU.
There’s nothing more dispiriting than a dumb educator. Not just because of what it portends for the minds of his or her students, but because stupidity is itself a record of failure. It takes years of cultivated ignorance and neglect to grow a dull brain, and it makes for a miserable inheritance. Unfortunately, Nassau County School Superintendent John Ruis appears ready to pass his handicap to a new generation.
Last week, Ruis chose to invest in bigotry and intolerance, and to endow that investment with money that might otherwise be used to pay for books and teachers. In a Jan. 27 letter to lawyers representing two Yulee High School students, Ruis said that the district would forbid use of the word “gay” in the title of a proposed student club. The students want to start a Gay-Straight Alliance, a club whose very purpose is to help dispel the fear and hatred that fuel gay stereotypes, and to help promote tolerance and compassion. Ruis, apparently willful in his determination to see what is not there, says the club, by acknowledging “specific sexual orientation,” violates school board policy. He doesn’t cite what policy, but presumably it offends his narrow sensibilities to admit that gay students exist.