#SpiritDay Ambassador Jennifer Tyrrell is showing her support for LGBT youth and taking a stand against bullying in her local community of Bridgeport, Ohio. However, not everyone is doing their part to share the important message of Spirit Day with those most affected by bullying.
Jennifer reports that Bridgeport School District Superintendent Ted Downing is refusing to ask students to wear purple this Friday for Spirit Day, claiming that he is concerned people will read more into it when they see “LGBT.” Downing also remarked that Spirit Day is “not our fight” and that Jennifer would have to take the matter up with the entire school board, which does not meet until after October 19.
Jennifer and others in Bridgeport are disappointed by Superintendent Downing’s refusal, but it has no bearing on whether students and faculty can wear purple on October 19. A new Facebook event started by Jennifer is informing Bridgeport schools about Spirit Day and how they can go purple on this Friday to show support for LGBT youth and stand against bullying!
Jennifer’s efforts to engage her community are already gaining support! The Ohio Valley Roller Girls, a roller derby league that brings together girls from all walks of life, are showing their purple and are excited to support LGBT youth and stand against bullying on Spirit Day!
Yesterday MTV.com said that Jennifer is ‘most definitely a leader’ and we agree!
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Jennifer has faced those who refuse to show support for LGBT youth. Once the den leader of her son Cruz’s Çub Scout Pack, Jennifer was removed from her position in April because she is gay. With support from GLAAD, she started a petition on Change.org calling for a change to the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory ban on gay scouts and LGBT youth.
The petition gained more than 300,000 signatures and generated national media attention around Jennifer’s story and the stories of countless Boy Scouts who have been rejected by the BSA because of who they are. Jennifer has continued to advocate for change in the BSA, and now she is joining millions of Americans this Friday who are going purple to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against bullying for Spirit Day.
Find out more about how you can join Jennifer to go purple for #SpiritDay at www.glaad.org/spiritday!
Nothing to wear? Visit American Apparel's official Spirit Day store and look good while giving! Use discount code SPIRIT at check out for an exclusive 10% Spirit Day savings. From 10/12 - 10/19, American Apparel will also donate 10% of all purple proceeds to GLAAD.
You can also get involved by downloading GLAAD’s Spirit Day resource kit, which contains tools to help turn your community purple in a stand against bullying. Spirit Day participants can also spread the word by telling their friends that they’re going purple on 10/19. Or, you can text PURPLE to 80888 to donate $5 to support the important work GLAAD,GLSEN and The Trevor Project do every day to end bullying and support LGBT youth.