Edited to reflect time change for the school board meeting. Mr. Richeson is scheduled to speak during the school board’s workshop, which starts at 6 p.m., not 7 p.m. as I wrote previously.
What an exciting weekend this has been! The story of Union County High School’s Gay Straight Alliance has gone far, with thousands of views and shares around the world. You can find local television coverage of the issue here, and stories from blogs here and here.
I once again tried to contact Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter and former principal Linda Harrell for comment. They have still not responded.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has shared this story. It is so important to me that the students know that people care about them. Many of you have been asking what you can do to help. Here are a few suggestions.
If you are a Union County resident:
Email or call your school board member. You can find a list of school board members here. It is an election year for the school board! If you don’t know which school board member represents your area, go here and scroll down to the files called 2014-district-x.pdf. Open those until you find your neighborhood. The chairman David Coppock is District 4. Their email addresses are linked from their names. I’m not going to put their home phone numbers online, but you can find most of them by searching whitepages.com.
Also, contact your County Commissioner and the county mayor. You can find the commissioners’ info here. The phone number of Mayor Mike Williams’ office is 865-992-3061.
While we’re at it, let’s throw in your state Senator and state Rep. It is an election year for them as well! Frank Niceley is the incumbent and is running unopposed for state Sen. District 8. There are several running for state Rep., but incumbents are Dennis Powers and Jerry Sexton.
Come to the school board meeting. It is set for Thursday, June 23, 6 p.m., at the Union County High School auditorium. Consider standing in solidarity with those scheduled to speak about this issue.
Call or email Dr. Carter at 865-992-5466 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Attend the school board meeting if you can. Sign the petition to reinstate Mr. Richeson. Follow the UCHS GSA on Twitter. Write or email your state and federal legislators.
But most of all, help out LGBTQ students in your local high schools. Attend your local school board meetings and express support of equality for all students. This is not just a Union County problem or a Tennessee problem. Kids everywhere need support
Please keep sharing this story and watch this space for updates. Thank you again for taking the time to care about these kids.