Hero of the Week Award: November 18, Zachary Huston

18 Nov

Hero of the Week

This week TSM celebrates another brave youth who is standing up to adversity. Last month, Zachary Huston was beaten by bullies at school, the culmination of a long series of bullying events he has suffered because he is gay. The beating was recorded by another student who posted it to Facebook. All this occurred despite the school district’s clear anti-bullying policy, a policy which sadly does not explicitly cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

This week, Zachary and his mother, Rebecca Collins, together with the ACLU of Ohio, have told Ohio’s Union-Scioto Local Schools that they will file charges against the district unless school officials convene a meeting. Zachary wants the policy updated and a discussion of how anti-bullying work will be carried out in practice, not just on paper.

Bravo, Zachary! Even now it is difficult enough to be honest about one’s sexual orientation in high school He deserves recognition for that fact alone. The HWA comes from his willingness to speak out to the authorities and demand change. This is the kind of courage and leadership we need in the next generation of LGBT leaders. Kudos to his mother as well for standing by her son and demanding that the school district be held accountable for his safety.

Honorable mention goes to Dionne Malinowski and her friend Kirk, two transgender students who are speaking out against the unfair practices of this week’s Bigot, Colorado’s Poudre School District.

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