Has anyone around you, whether it be friends, family or just people someone you donâ€™t even know ever called you names replacing the word â€œstupidâ€? Names like gay or retard or even racial slurs are very hurtful, even if those names are meant as a joke.
Kaneland High Schoolâ€™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 â€œthatâ€™s so gayâ€ 26 times a dayâ€”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, Iâ€™ve experienced moments like these before. If people donâ€™t like me, then thatâ€™s their own problem, and they shouldnâ€™t make someone feel bad for who they are. When people look at me in the halls, every once in a while Iâ€™ll hear the word â€œfag!â€ shouted out in my direction. It looks like I donâ€™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 â€œretarded,â€ 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 donâ€™t belong.
Harassment has led to many people believing that they donâ€™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