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These were educated people saying, "Your son made a bad choice" or "He's the problem."
January 19, 2011 7:20 AM   Subscribe

GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won.

Wagner was interviewed for MSNBC's Obama's America: 2010 and Beyond.

A song about Carolyn and William's ordeal with the Fayetteville school district, "William's Song" was recently performed by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Carolyn remained a GLBT rights advocate, and a Christian. She said, "As a Christian myself, I have the firm belief that all who have spoken words of bias and hate as well as all who remained silent or failed to act to halt others from such harm to other humans, will pay for such crimes against humanity when they face their maker."
posted by roomthreeseventeen (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:42 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by plep at 7:45 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by Faint of Butt at 7:45 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by AloneOssifer at 7:47 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by hermitosis at 7:59 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by Morrigan at 8:14 AM on January 19, 2011


I look forward to the day when it is no longer so noteworthy when someone stands up and says "it is not okay to treat people like shit" and refuses to be told to shut up.

Thanks for being a part of making the world a better place, Ms Wagner.
posted by phearlez at 8:43 AM on January 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


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posted by hippybear at 8:49 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by iamabot at 9:04 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by ocherdraco at 9:06 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 9:23 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:26 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by lordrunningclam at 10:38 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by marienbad at 11:21 AM on January 19, 2011


Was she a “GLBT”-rights advocate or a gay-rights advocate? I assure you they are not synonymous.
posted by joeclark at 11:35 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by Gelatin at 11:41 AM on January 19, 2011


Carolyn was a vice president of the National chapter of PFLAG, and the daughter of a Klansman.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on January 19, 2011


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posted by yellowcandy at 1:41 PM on January 19, 2011


Is everyone covered by Title IX except cheerleaders?

Also:

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posted by CarlRossi at 2:44 PM on January 19, 2011


My thoughts are with her friends and family. Thanks for fighting the good fight.
posted by dejah420 at 4:20 PM on January 19, 2011


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posted by ltracey at 5:26 PM on January 19, 2011


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posted by monster truck weekend at 5:39 PM on January 19, 2011


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posted by velvet winter at 6:11 PM on January 19, 2011


This is horrible. Poor William.

I live in Fayetteville. For years I've heard similar stories about the Fayetteville school district basically ignoring bullying issues or problems. Which is not to minimize what they went through, just to say that I suspect there are systemic problems with unsympathetic admins.

I wish my mom had been half as good or awesome as Mrs. Wagner.
posted by geekhorde at 9:26 PM on January 19, 2011


"Man up!". Oh, yes. That's what they say.

I'm gay. I suffered plenty harassment and bullying in school. And yes, I've hard the "man up" bullshit. Yes, bullshit.

See, before I was clearly different, I was just simply the biggest kid in school. As such, I was the one that always got in trouble any time any horse play was happening. And that was in a time and place where they still believed in beating children with heavy wooden paddles. I got that, a lot. In fact, to my surprise and horror, a girl I was in grade school recently told me how horrified she was by the those beatings.

Yes, it was always for "fighting". Didn't matter if it was a friend or enemy, or anything, except that an adult perceived "fighting", so that's what it was, and so yet another beating was administered.

Well, I learned my lesson! By the time it got out that I was queer, and that bullying began, I wasn't about to move a muscle in any kind of defence. Instead, I went to the teachers/principal. Every single time. Frequently. Of course, they didn't like that! They didn't want to be bothered. Having beaten the fight out of me, over years, now they wanted me to "man up".

But that's enough on the subject from me.

This lady sounds like she was quite wonderful. Lucky kid! Lucky community too, if they've sense enough to know it.
posted by Goofyy at 4:22 AM on January 20, 2011


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:08 AM on January 20, 2011


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