TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA — In a new petition she started on MoveOn.org, Katelynn Martin, the mother of a 14-year-old Florida boy, is petitioning the Pinellas County School Board, demanding the district require tolerance training for all administrators and faculty after her son, Chris Martin, was admonished for wearing make-up to class at Meadowlawn Middle School.
On the last day of school, Chris Martin decided to wear black eyeliner, eye shadow, and lipstick. According to Katelynn Martin, the school principle ridiculed and reprimanded Martin for wearing make-up, and ordered him out of class for failing to remove it, despite the fact that the school does not have any rules or policies that would prevent him from wearing make-up to class. Many of Chris’s female classmates were also wearing make-up that day and were not reprimanded. [pullquote]My son was penalized for wearing makeup at school by Principal Effiom, who expressed his own belief that boys wearing makeup is ridiculous, unnecessary, and distracting,” explained Katelynn Martin in her petition on MoveOn.org.[/pullquote]
VIEW KATELYNN’S MOVEON PETITION HERE: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/pinellas-county-fl-school.
“A distressing incident occurred at Meadowlawn Middle School yesterday, when Principal Claud Effiom chose to interpret policy through the lens of his own ignorance, missing an opportunity to teach tolerance by example. My son was penalized for wearing makeup at school by Principal Effiom, who expressed his own belief that boys wearing makeup is ridiculous, unnecessary, and distracting,” explained Katelynn Martin in her petition on MoveOn.org. “My son has endured vicious bullying for the last several years, and unfortunately, he is not the only one. These attacks are terribly damaging to young people, who are already struggling to find their identity. Incidents like the one yesterday only serve to further isolate these kids, who feel abandoned by the educators that are charged with their safety and well-being. It is unacceptable that these things should be allowed to occur anywhere, but most especially in a community as diverse and accepting as Pinellas County.”
Hundreds of concerned Floridians have signed Martin’s petition since it launched last week. The petition urges the Pinellas County School District to (1) Make our schools safe and accepting places for all students, (2) Require tolerance training for all administrators and faculty, (3) encourage gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs in all secondary schools, and (4) sponsor an inclusive curriculum that includes positive images of the LGBTQ community.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://tiny.cc/kn9iyw.
MoveOn.org is a community of more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life who are using innovative technology to lead, participate in, and win campaigns for progressive change.
[From a News Release]