July 23, 2014

Elyria
Rain
73°F
test

Elyria High students show support for levy, student group

Elyria High School rally for Issue 2 and Allies, the school's newly formed gay straight alliance. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Elyria High School rally for Issue 2 and Allies, the school’s newly formed gay straight alliance. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Signs that read “Equality” and “Support Issue 2” were mixed equally at a peaceful rally Monday morning at Elyria High School.

Lined up in front of the historic Washington Building on Middle Avenue, students came together before class to rally in support of the district’s upcoming renewal levy and a newly formed gay-straight alliance club at the school.

The rally came days after The Chronicle-Telegram reported that several members of the community disagree with the club’s presence at the school and have threatened to work against efforts to pass the levy as a result.

Issue 2 is a renewal that would generate $12 million a year for Elyria Schools.

“We are all here together,” said student organizer Will Simons, 16. “We want the community to know that we, as a school, want the club around, and we do not want to be penalized by the levy failing when it means so much to every student in our school and district.”

The students say

The students say

Students originally planned to return to the streets after school, but the event was canceled after Elyria police received a phone call about two hours after the morning rally when the caller claimed there was a bomb at the school. Students were evacuated for more than an hour while police officers and firefighters searched the school.

At no time did police and school officials believe the rally and bomb threat were connected. Police Capt. Chris Costantino said the caller never mentioned the rally or gay-straight alliance club.

“I know it was easy to put both of them together, but that was never the case,” said district spokeswoman Amy Higgins. “The rally was a peaceful gathering of students, and the evacuation was done according to school protocol. It was just a coincidence the two happened so close together.”

Even without the afternoon rally, students got their point across, supporting Allies, an after-school club started in recent weeks for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. Its aim is to serve as a place where students can “come together in an accepting and open environment intentionally designed to discuss topics directly related to both the gay and straight communities,” according to its announcement.

The inaugural meeting was attended by 27 students.

Mikayla Lamp stands with Elyria High students Monday morning in support of the school's newest student group. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Mikayla Lamp stands with Elyria High students Monday morning in support of the school’s newest student group. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Monday’s rally was organized through social media. When a news article highlighting the opposing views of parents hit the Internet on Saturday morning, messages on Twitter immediately went out calling for an organized counter-effort at the school.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, students were set with their plans.

The outcome was a mix of students, teachers, administrators and some parents standing side-by-side. As cars drove down Middle Avenue and honked, students cheered.

Maddy Massey, 18, a senior at Elyria High, said she has known about Allies for several weeks and thought it was a cool idea. It never stood out to her as different than any other club at the school.

“It fits in with everything else Elyria High stands for,” she said. “To us, it’s just like band or drama or sports. We used to have a gay-straight alliance for years, and the only reason it stopped is because students lost interest. If the club is here, it’s because students have an interest again.

“At least 50 kids that I know of want to join now,” she added.

Elyria High Principal Tom Jama stood to the side and watched with pride as the students rallied. Since taking the helm of the school several years ago, Jama has encouraged students to speak their minds on issues that concern them while supporting one another and showing pride for their school.

“I’ve done this job a long time and I have never been more proud of a group of students,” he said. “They have come together in a positive manner to promote their school in a peaceful and meaningful way. This is what Elyria High is all about.”

Jama and the school’s choir director, Mark Jessie, also an Elyria City Council member, collected the students’ signs after more than 30 minutes of rallying, but assured students the signs would be safe for future use. Students were told they could put signs up in the hallways.

Austin Rubinoski, 16, a junior, said he has friends who are lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual, but the club is not just for them to the exclusion of others. He said he plans to attend the next meeting.

“This club is to make everyone feel welcome at this school and accepted in their own skin,” he said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

 

  • Barbara Radke

    Happy to see peaceful protest, it’s the American way.

  • Sarah Boesger
    • Sarah Boesger

      I am so incredibly proud of these kids. This petition is being circulated to show that we support you, we are here for you, and we are not going to let this continue.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        I’m fairly certain calling someone an a$$hole or d!ckweed or doucheb@g is not a sign of intelligence.

        • johns62

          -and I suppose calling something sight unseen a ‘sex class’ is a sign of intelligence?

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Are you suggesting I made that comment? If you are, prove it. If you aren’t, keep your comments about someone else out of your responses to me. Thank you very much.

  • Tamra Tury

    Well Done Lisa Roberson!!
    You have made a difference in your new home town : )

  • FoodForThought63

    I’ve never been more proud to be a Pioneer :)

  • LAB1660

    That’s it, use the kids to get involved in getting a levy passed. The only kids who should be involved in such an endeavour are the 18-year-olds AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A FULL EXPLANATION OF WHAT THE LEVY IS ALL ABOUT AND NOT BEEN INDOCTRINATED BY ANYONE TO VOTE FOR THE LEVY IF THEY HAVE ANY LOYALTY AT ALL. It’s a sad day when people who oppose school levies are given such a hard time expressing their opposition and for whatever reason they oppose the levy at all. Let us first remember that we, the voters, allow an UNCONSTITUTIONAL FORM OF SCHOOL FUNDING to continue when we vote for school levies as they are presented since it has been determined by the Supreme Court of Ohio that taxation of real property for the purpose of funding schools is unbalanced and unconstitutional. See DeRolph. Let’s instead find a different way to more fairly fund public schools instead of holding people hostage by taxing them out of the homes they purchased and in which they have lived for many years.

    • Sean MacNair

      Yeah, umm, read the article. No one used these kids, they organized this themselves. Chris Sito was the one who dragged the levy into this discussion of a high school club. He may have opposed the levy anyway but he was using the levy as leverage to oppose the Allies club.

      • The Thinker

        You sir are correct.

      • SniperFire

        ‘Yeah, umm, read the article. No one used these kids’

        Laughable if you think articles written by Leftist journalists tell the full story.

        • Mikayla Lamp

          Perhaps you don’t know the entire story. If you were a member of the school faculty who heard what was going on first hand, perhaps you would. These children made their own choice to show their own opinions.

    • Becky

      You don’t have to be an adult to express loyalty and understanding to your school, community or fellow classmates. I applaud them.

    • Mikayla Lamp

      This entire rally was organized by students. I attended the rally myself and helped set this all up. These students were not “used” in any way. They were showing support for their fellow Elyria students. These kids have every right to show their support for the rally seeing that they are the ones who will be impacted. As the high schoolers, and the oldest student population with in the Elyria City School District, these students took it upon themselves to stand up for the entire district.

      • Phil Seguin

        Hi Mikayla. What do you think about giving every student in the district a voucher so that families can decide which educational institution is best for them?

        • A proud Educator and Mother

          As a parent, I have 2 children – one who selected public school and one who selected private school. BOTH were successful and made their choices based on the support and guidance of their parents.
          My daughter, Mikayla, had an exceptional experience in EHS while my son has had an exceptional experience at Elyria Catholic. That being said, I support vouchers and recommend that if they are going to be offered then they should be an option to ALL parents not just the parents whose children would attend a failing school.

          • Phil Seguin

            Thanks. I agree. I have two kids in Elyria City Schools and am pleased so far. I went to St. Jude and EC and know that they are both fine institutions. Education is important but I’m not sure that the public schools are always best for every family – vouchers seem like a fair option to me.

  • Falcon84

    You go kids!! Show the ignorant homophobes like Chris Sito that you’re better than they are!!

  • Falcon84

    As for the petition on here asking Elyria Little League to reprimand or remove Chris Sito, I do not support that. You don’t fight his bid to divide the city and exclude our kids from being welcome at school by excluding him from his activities. It’s a free country. I do NOT agree with his stance on “Allies”, but I do not believe in retribution. Be bigger than he is. Be what he has failed to be.

    • Sarah Boesger

      Mr. Sito’s actions have directly violated the guidelines set by Little League. Look on their website under Policies. That is why I have created this petition. We do not agree with what he is doing, we do not want him in charge of our or anyone’s children, and he is in the wrong. It is not retribution. It is protecting children from those who mean them harm.

      • Hijinx

        While I MOST SINCERELY AGREE with the formation of “Allies” in the Elyria Schools, I have to take issue with this petition. Sarah, are you not just playing this guy’s game? Aren’t you saying to the public that because this man doesn’t agree with you, (and probably a decent majority of people in the city), he should lose his position? Isn’t that just as wrong as what he is doing? Perhaps instead of taking blind stabs at this man, you should just sit back and watch him fail. I think the voters in this city are intelligent enough to see his position is, in this day and age, unacceptable. A question…Is YOUR child directly influenced by this man? PLEASE understand, I am a bi-sexual woman myself, and I believe “Allies” will play an important and helpful roll in the system. However, to attack this man for his beliefs, and his choice to influence his friends and family are by definition… his rights, like it or not. So, there you sit, judging him the way he judges others, and trying to take away his position just as he is trying to take this group away from these deserving students. Pick your battles Ms. Boesgar…we might need someone with your passion when something REALLY BIG happens.

      • Gary Lewis

        Never convince me otherwise, Sarah, that your actions are based on retribution, intolerance, bullying and hypocrisy. I’m more displeased with your strategies in personally attacking anyone that is not in agreement with your beliefs, or even the majorities, than I am over the organization of this student club.

    • The Thinker

      In the best light, Chris Sito is uninformed or ignorant to the purpose of the Allies group. In the worst light he’s a bigot. In either case I wouldn’t want him involved in an organization that deals exclusively with kids at any level. Chris Sito is on the board for Little League East.

      I invite you to share your thoughts with the Little League East President, Kevin Brubaker. His email and phone number were taken from the Little League East website.
      kabrubaker85@gmail.com
      440-864-7719

      • woodyhaze

        Haha, that won’t work, you all got him to resign too. You thought you were smart putting out his phone number didn’t you? Hope all your hyperventilating worked like you planned, Einsteins

  • SniperFire

    ‘Instead of protesting against the opposing voters and their views, students took to the streets with a different message.The students say“We are all here together,”

    Really? When did they start paying property taxes?

    • Sean MacNair

      Finish the paragraph.

      “We are all here together,” said student Will Simons, 16. “We want the community to know that we, as a school, want the club around, and we do not want to be penalized by the levy failing when it means so much to every student in our school and district.”

      The students paying or not paying property taxes really isn’t relevant. “We are all here together” referred to the support among the high school students for the Allies club. Instead of opposing Chris Sito specifically, they chose a different tact.

      • SniperFire

        ‘Finish the paragraph.’

        No reason to. I made the salient point, to which you cannot refute.

    • Becky

      It affects these students directly. Calm down.

    • Guest

      It’s funny you claim that kids don’t or shouldn’t have a voice in democracy but don’t realize that nowhere does it say that you gain your rights as a tax paying adult. When you’re born a citizen or recieve citizenship, you receive your rights embodied in the constitution. Freedom of speech and assembly included no matter the age. If you have a reason, then by all rights you should be able to express concerns in a community. I hope that this rally is an eye opener to the community and beyond that everyone can participate however they wish and that a club in the school can make a difference. I believe my classmates deserve the rights they’re given to embrace and were learned as students at Elyria High School.

  • Sandy Wendell Riley

    So proud of these kids for standing up for their rights and the rights of others and standing up to adult bullies! Don’t ever back down. Stand proud of you were BORN to be!

  • Becky

    What an amazing group of students! Bravo EHS, bravo!

  • Guest

    I am such a proud Alumni. Seeing some of my closest friends being so positive, mature, and peaceful about an issue they are passionate about is so touching. Let these students show what love and support can really do.

  • Sean MacNair

    “At least 50 kids that I know of want to join now, just so every one knows it’s supported,” she said.

    Told you so, Mr. Sito.

    • golfingirl

      No Bono,

      You said the “next Allies meeting will get 100 attendees. Or more.”

      Only missed it by 50%. In any classroom that would be an “F.”

  • Guest

    I am so unbelievably proud of each and every one of these students. It’s a shame that they’re currently being evacuated due to a threat to the school regarding their PEACEFUL Rally. Stay strong kids, I’m the happiest Alumni right now.

  • Seed

    They should applauded. Standing up and being a voice.

    • Heather Sorg

      Love it!

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      I’m so very proud of these students….Their parents should be applauded.

  • Reginald Cremeans

    Let us put this in perspective. CHILDREN – are speaking out concerning an agenda that they aren’t yet even able to vote on, correct? I am all for teaching a broad curriculum in our schools, but there are reasons CHILDREN aren’t allowed to vote, drink alcohol, join the armed services, marry, and many other things. They are too impressionable, naïve and uneducated to act in a responsible manner. By this I mean that they see the immediate “here and now” issue, without having a grasp of long-term consequences. There is a reason they are not allowed to enter into legal contracts without a parents’ consent, and unfortunately, there are many parents who don’t understand the implications of letting their children do certain things without a comprehensive understanding of the implications of their actions. One can support an issue or agenda without having a “club”, and in doing so show their individuality and personal strength, rather than jump on a bandwagon that may be nothing more than the “cool” thing to do at the moment. Schools should be more concerned with educating children to graduate and move forward in life, and allow parents to establish and promote morals and ethics in their children. Our children are just that – CHILDREN.

    • B4CE

      Kinda like in the 50′s&60′s , letting black kids go to school with the white kids was a “cool thing to do for the moment ” ?
      Being inclusive was the right thing to do then, as is supporting and helping ALL of our students is now.
      The fact that they feel need a club to feel supported and accepted is the bigger problem!
      No ONE is keeping you from promoting your morals to YOUR children. Feel free to Forbid them from joining the club. But please don’t dictate YOUR “ethics & morals ” on others children.

      • Reginald Cremeans

        You seem to have missed my point. I agree, all students should be supported, accepted and encouraged. My point is, school is where CHILDREN go to receive an education, not to receive moral or ethical guidance. It IS a shame that a “club” was organized to make them feel accepted and supported – we all have the right to pursue happiness in whatever form, according to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We do NOT have the right to force others to accept our individual beliefs though. Schools are for education – they are NOT a forum for political or personal issues and agendas.

        • Becky

          School is where you learn a various spectrum of life taught lessons. Social be one a possible the most valued. Home schooling teaches the books, and not much else. Social skills are used the rest of our lives.

        • ClemsonGuy

          They aren’t receiving moral and ethical guidance. The club is a student organization – made by and for the students.

          Furthermore, I disagree with your entire premise. The point of an education is learn to think, act, and sufficiently operate in a civic environment. If students are not allowed to speak their mind, develop different modes of thought and forms of expression, then what is education for?

          Lastly, these are high school students. Yes, they may be someone’s child, but they are teenagers, not toddlers. A number of these students drive, work jobs, will work jobs, and those who will be 18 by the general election can vote. These are young adults becoming active in the community.

          One more thing. These students are not “forcing” anyone to accept anything. What they want is a piece of the public sphere to argue their case and, hopefully, make this world more inclusive. I’m sure there are students, as well as parents, who disagree with everything these students stand for, and as we’ve seen in the Chronicle, they are more than welcome to share. However, it is this “concerned parent” opposition that’s trying to force the district, and the students right to speech, by using a levy renewal as a weapon. That’s called coercion. It’s a tactic that only one side in this debate is trying to use and it is not the students.

        • Mikayla Lamp

          By allowing this club to be formed, the school WAS NOT forcing others to accept the individual beliefs of the students in the club. This club was brought together in order for students who have similar beliefs to come together and support one another. They are all there out of their own free will. They are not forced into anything.

        • B4CE

          My apologies Reginald, the first couple of times reading through the articles, I missed where it said you were being forced to accept someone else’s belief system due to there being a club. Now that I see that the club is mandatory for all students and parents, I have changed my mind.
          I agree with you 100%, school should not be a forum for political or personal issues. And since we are in complete agreement with your statement , I am asking you to co-sponsor a petition with me to ban the PUSH Christian group, from our schools also!
          After all, we wouldn’t want to influence impressionable young minds with any political or personal agendas that others may not agree with! We certainly wouldn’t want to mandatorily force Christian beliefs on an entire community!

          • Reginald Cremeans

            I am truly glad to see so many who wish to use their minds to express themselves freely and eloquently. You may feel that I am in support of Mr. Sito, but allow me to correct this. I simply believe that by using school to educate our children in math, language, science, etc., it becomes an EFFECTIVE tool for young minds. Our lawmakers “grade” our school systems, thereby using those grades to say where money will be focused in the coming years. For school systems to concentrate their efforts towards anything else, they are becoming “parents” by proxy, and from the number of young people I see using drugs, becoming pregnant, acting “thuggish” and destroying the English language, I think our educators are tasked with enough. School is for learning the subjects in the curriculum, NOT for promoting agendas, mine or anyone elses’. What students do after school, on their own time, isn’t a problem. If everyone is so accepting of this “club” why do they need one in the first place? If so many feel so strongly about accepting LGBT students, maybe the need for such a club isn’t as needed as this demonstration would have us think.

          • B4CE

            Christianity is pretty widely accepted, why do they need a club? And I don’t know if anyone that accepts those “anime kids” and they have a club, should they or should they not be allowed to have a club based on how many people accept them?

            Obviously I am kidding about the anime kids… Kind of

          • A proud Educator and Mother

            Membership to the club or any other club on the EHS campus is NOT mandatory.

          • B4CE

            Only the finest educating our children. I hope you don’t teach language arts, the lesson of satire must not have been covered at your chosen college.

          • A proud Educator and Mother

            What the heck does teaching language arts have to do with the comments? I will not stoop to your level and take you where my mind just went……I picked up on your “satire.”
            My comment was not directed to what you had posted anyway. Oddly, it posted there after I hit reply to Reginald’s comment. I apologize if you took it personally or felt I had misspoken.
            Unfortunately, comments such as yours AGAINST ME PERSONALLY reflect what these kids are trying to support – KINDNESS AND ACCEPTANCE to all!
            Good day, Mr. or Ms. B4CE!

          • B4CE

            Educator!
            I received notification that you replied to my post, because you replied my to my post. You will forgive me for the confusion given your mistake.
            I didn’t post against YOU, I simply clarified that my response to Reggie was satire, and your post directly responding to mine was not accurate.
            The language arts portion of my comment came from your “educator ” handle and the mistaken response to my satire.
            Sometimes it helps to name the person your addressing in your post
            Good day!

    • Becky

      The children chose to have a voice, which they are free to do before and after school. Good try tho.

    • Durasia Anderson

      The club is not something you join to be “cool”. It is a responsible way to come together and try preventing the harm to kids that do not feel safe or accepted in their environment. The purpose of the club is to show students that they are in fact accepted and safe. It is a shame that anyone could be threatened for their individuality. But that’s the way things are. It’s a disappointing reality. And if you want to put things into perspective then you should ponder ther fact that at least half of the students in high school will be eligible to vote on issues, such as issue 2, before the inauguration of our next president. Yes, legally we are children but you may not realize that a lot of us take on responsibility before reaching the age of 18.

      • A proud Educator and Mother

        Well stated, Durasia!

        • Durasia Anderson

          Thank you!

          • Mikayla Lamp

            That’s my momma <3

          • Durasia Anderson

            Thanks, Mikayla :)

    • A proud Educator and Mother

      If you had read the article and some of the points, CHILDREN (one is mine) organized this to support the levy and their peers AND more than ONE of those CHILDREN is a voter!!!! The young lady in the article as is my daughter are both voters.
      As for schools being concerned about educating CHILDREN to graduate and more forward in life….visit the school, look up the report cards, ask questions (such as their graduation rate and their improvement since the previous levy was passed and when this school EHS was built…)of the SCHOOL before you judge the CHILDREN!
      As for parents establishing and promoting morals and ethics in their children, that is another question to ask the school. Ask the school(s) grade K – 12 about how many parents are truly involved with their children and how often the school is expected to raise said children.
      The club membership is also VOLUNTARY. No one is forcing their beliefs or practices on anyone.

  • Nicole Helsley

    These kids let us know we are moving forward. I could not be prouder to be an EHS alumni as I am right now! Great job to the staff for allowing these students to feel like they can be whomever they are and not be judged!!

  • Sarah Boesger
  • Guest

    i always had,my opinion,that the young kids who felt they were gay cause of all confusion love can give out&life itself during the pre-teen and teen years.i call it a fade&rebellion.i thought,at one time,when i was that age,i was naive with love&relationships&kept getting hurt&wonder if i was gay too.do you know,how many females i have known through the years, that consider themselves gay&their reasons 9 out of 10,i’ve heard,’men are a$$holes’..they were hurt one too many times,so they feel women can’t hurt.go figure. the transgender thing..God made you a woman or a man,you should not question God. i will look into the levy but i feel there is a lot of kids crying out for help,when you question anything,usually,it’s because it’s chaos in your own mind&you want an answer.

  • Brooke Hodge

    The argument that just because a student is under 18 they aren’t able to have valid opinions and beliefs regarding their own education and environment is absurd. What is the difference from seventeen to eighteen, like a year just gives you adequate ability to have a mature formulated opinion or belief? I think you people need to realize that these kids are much more mature than you give them credit for and respect their opinions, after all they are the ones going to the school and inhabiting the environment and dealing with the outcome of the levy. Issue 2 has my support.

  • Jennie Benford

    So proud of my old school for standing on the side of love and diversity!

  • Donald Duck

    I hope this issue does not go national, because this is just a total embarrassment to the City. I cannot believe the hypocrisies in these comments. Individuals talking out both sides of their mouths. This just makes me so sick to my stomach.

  • SniperFire

    No wonder why responsible people continue to flee Elyria. It will be just another rundown, Democrat sheethole within a generation.

    • Simon Jester

      Are you suggesting that it isn’t…?

      • SniperFire

        Well, you got me there. LOL

  • Guest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-vgDOjAck

    Wake up, it’s 2014. It’s time for people to understand that we are all people. A true Christian loves and accepts regardless of who they are. The old testament is exactly that, the OLD testament. I am not religious but I have done my research to be fully educated on the subject of the LGBTQ community VS. Religion. You have no argument, I promise you that. Grow up and ACCEPT. Isn’t that was God is about in the end?

    • Phil Seguin

      Love the man – hate the sin.

    • SniperFire

      Not religious, but knows what ‘true’ Christians are suppose to believe. LOL

      • Guest

        “I have done my research to be fully educated on the subject of the LGBTQ community VS. Religion”
        Are you not able to read entirely?
        I was once a Christian, so you should probably think before you speak. You’re idiocy is hilarious.

        • SniperFire

          ‘I have done my research’

          LOLOLOLOL

          • Guest

            Are you a child?

        • Sis Delish

          My Group chuckles at the LGBTQ Researcher.

          As for the Video, My Group still has to provide Identification for most of life’s big events–banking, library cards, renting videos, getting a passport and, most interestingly, for Voting. The young’ens in the Video have it made by comparison. That’s what My Group thinks.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    “Instead of protesting against the opposing voters and their views, students took to the streets with a different message.

    “We are all here together,” said student Will Simons, 16. “We want the community to know that we, as a school, want the club around, and we do not want to be penalized by the levy failing when it means so much to every student in our school and district.””

    Uh…
    Oh never mind…

    • The Thinker

      On behalf of those of us staying behind I encourage you to “flee” faster Larry.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        Lift your head up and maybe less will fly over it.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        As I said before, lift up your head so not everything goes over it.

  • Sis Delish

    They sure make pretty signs.

    • Ginger Beane

      Wow, not surprised by the comment, now your judging there signs..turn in your habit!!

  • Holly Brinda

    Our community is experiencing “a teachable moment” and I am so very proud of the Elyria High School students, faculty and staff; school administration and school board, and the many citizens who are advocating for the freedom to discuss and build understanding for our differences. One of Elyria’s greatest strengths is our diversity. It makes us stronger, smarter, more well-rounded, and a wonderful place to work and raise our families. When my four children went out into the world after graduating from Elyria High School, they had the benefit of real world experience. Great minds don’t all think alike – and that’s what makes Elyria so great. We are a kaleidoscope of people and I am so very proud to be a part of it. If we really listen to each other, we can learn something from each other every day. I hope as this community dialogue continues we all keep open minds and open hearts for everyone involved in this very important conversation.
    Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda

    • Simon Jester

      I want to know what color the sky is in her world.. ^

    • Phil Seguin

      Thanks Holly – what do you think about vouchers for every family in Elyria so that each family can choose the school that best fits them?

      • Phil Seguin

        Maybe our “teachable moment” has ended. I would like to tell the Mayor publicly that after further consideration I will raise my offer to $200 for the Fireworks fund PROVIDED that the Elyria safety forces and their unions give an in kind donation of any of their required labor for the event.

    • A proud Educator and Mother

      Thank you for your support and for being approachable for the staff and students of Elyria!

    • golfingirl

      I would have suggested this response:

      As the Mayor of Elyria, I do not feel government interference is appropriate in this issue. However, I am here today to speak as a concerned citizen of Elyria, outside my capacity as Mayor. I am not taking sides for political gain.

      Let’s create an environment that embraces opposing points of view. Dissenting viewpoints are encouraged. I embrace them, I respect all positions on this, and all matters which impact the City of Elyria. Opposition is what makes us grow.

      Each citizen of Elyria has their own personal belief system, shaped by their life experiences. Just be real, be empathetic, and understand that you, we, are all part of a great network of consciousness, which will steer the future of this city.

      The great thing about diversity is exactly that…DIVERSITY… and learning how to find ways to UNITE our differences of opinions, not finding things that separate us from one another. This requires critical thinking and detachment from emotion. For this reason, I will not take a position for, or against, one group or the other one this issue, but rather work with BOTH sides to create an atmosphere of camaraderie, cooperation and common ground.

      As your Mayor, the key for me is to not react, but rather allow everyone to express their personal feelings on the formation of this group. I am confident the citizens of Elyria will work through this without interference from any government entities, including the Mayor’s office.

  • mike

    People who live in the past like Chris Sito don’t understand this generation. This fight for equality is our civil rights and like it our not we will not let our LGBT friends be treated like second class citizens. An attack on one group’s liberty is attack on all of our liberties! Good job E high students.

  • Simon Jester

    So glad highschoolers can’t vote.

    In a perfect world, only actual tax payers would have a say.

    • B4CE

      We all pay taxes, sales tax, gas tax, ECt ! Or did you mean payroll taxes? In which case our retired senior citizens would be eliminated from voting, which would pretty much eliminate the base of the Republican Party … Hey, you might be on to something!

      • Sis Delish

        My Club has an opinion on your posting. My Club’s opinion is that you just advocated for age discrimination, discrimination based on employment, and a dislike of citizens who are a minority in Lorain County and Elyria. That’s My Club’s Opinion.

        • B4CE

          You are welcome to your opinion, I served our military to ensure you are able to spout your nonsense.

          • Simon Jester

            Hey look, actual nonsense!

            You may have served, but I’ll wager it wasn’t for any noble sentiment such as that, and it’s utterly irrelevant as pertaining to this topic.

            A DD214 doesn’t give you a pass to be some “holier than thou” a$$hole.

            PS, unless you actually served in the Fleet, “Jarhead” isn’t an insult you have a right to.

      • SniperFire

        Hey brainiac, people on welfare pay those sales tax with OTHER PEOPLE’s MONEY. But you really never bother to ponder where your check comes from.

        • B4CE

          Just like a jarhead, lash out with name calling at those you don’t agree with. I understand it’s the only way you know how to react. I don’t hold it against you.

          I’m down w Jester’s idea, no payroll tax, no vote . Remember retirees don’t pay payroll taxes.im willing to bet the the damage done by eliminating voting retiree would do far more damage to the republicans than elimination of voting welfare recipients would to the Democratic Party .

          • SniperFire

            ‘ lash out with name calling at those you don’t agree with.’

            It isn’t a matter of agreeing with you. You were dead wrong. Deal with it.

        • jz

          Why did you not say that in the beginning? So if someone is on welfare they should no be able to vote? And that would be a perfect world? I agree that the war on poverty was a terrible policy. But I surely would not equate my and your dislike towards that policy to say that a citizen has no right to vote because of it. Aside from all of B4CE’s logical examples as to why your perfect world is impractical, ….

          • Simon Jester

            A week late, but I consider a person that relies on the .gov for their very existence voting to be a conflict of interests.

            People will vote themselves more free stuff every time.

      • Simon Jester

        Net taxpayers. People that actually pay more in taxes than they receive in “refunds” or benefits.

        And property tax is the only one that really matters, given that we’re talking about school funding.

        • B4CE

          Federal state or local net tax payers?

          Property taxes only?
          I’m ok with that as long as the land lords can show that the rent is only enough to cover mortgage and upkeep and not inflated to cover property taxes also. But that would be a heck of a tax burden on the owners to keep a few people from voting.

          • B4CE

            How about those military service members? Their net taxable income is at a negative , they don’t produce any net gain in the tax base. Should they be allowed to vote? Thats another solid republican string hold you are willing to negate. You sure about this?

  • SniperFire

    Hey, I know. They could name it the ‘Jerry Sandusky Club’ !

  • Guest

    Society expects a LIFETIME career decision by the age of 17 or 18 to steer your college education in the “correct direction”. I think it’s safe to say that students between the ages of 15-18, (like the ones in this rally) are obviously thinking about said future career. With that being said, if they’re apparently mature and educated enough to decide on what they do for the rest of their life it’s VERY safe to say that they’re mature enough to support political issues. And they’re DEFINITELY able to judge wether or not BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ARE WORTHY OF HAVING. Love is love. This is 2014. Slavery ended a long time ago, stop making the LGBTQ community suffer like African American’s did. We’ve overcome that, have we not? Reflect on America’s stupidity and possibly your own ignorance if you feel differently.
    Food for thought.

    • SniperFire

      In the totality of human culture and ‘society’. it has rejected sexual deviants since, like, forever. Even the Greek city states eventually outlawed nasty deviants.

      • ClemsonGuy

        Only when that deviancy broke with social hierarchy. For example, a male noble could take young man as a lover, but not vice versa. For the Greeks and Romans the laws that banned such behavior in the classical era were based on power, not deviancy.

        Alas, none of this relevant as this is, in the short run, a free speech issue, and in the long one on both speech and equality.

        In addition, your perspective analogy is weak. We’re not Greek, and this is the 21st century. If we adhered to the traditional order set down from the classical era, or any other era you choose, it wouldn’t take long for you to find fault with that. Social, class, gender stratification, isolation. Criminal punishment for things like witchcraft or religious heresy (Catholic as well as whatever branch of Protestantism controls the jurisdiction where you live), legal codes against interracial relations, etc.

        Culture is not constant, and many of these things are not new, we’re simply choosing to face them now.

        It takes courage to stand up and argue in favor of making the world more inclusive.

        • SniperFire

          ‘Only when that deviancy broke with social hierarchy. ‘

          Nonsense. It was only an upper-class permitted perversion to begin with, and they eventually made it punishable by death. As I said, and as I repeat, in the entirety of human culture, society and experience, these deviants have ALWAYS been rejected.

          • ClemsonGuy

            1) What laws are created are not always reflected by or in the population. Sometimes they themselves only represent a minority’s insight into strict morality.

            2) Many of those governments, be they Greek, Roman, modern European, Arab, enforced a strong connection between religion and rule of law. That is to say, church law was secular law and secular law was church law. They were one in the same in many cases with few variances.

            Since Massachusetts disestablished the Congregationalist Church in 1833, we haven’t had any American examples of a single Christian denomination closely aligned with the law. From 1834 to the present, Christianity’s relationship to the law has been very narrow, related some to the Old Testament, but applied generally. The vast denominational pluralism that existed in this country – Quakers, Congregationalists, Mormons, Disciples of Christ, Shakers, Unitarians, Universalists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Anabaptists, Moravians, Baptists, Catholics, Jews, non-denominational Christians, and unaffiliated, kept an absolutist interpretation of the law elusive and always in a state of flux.

            Many of these organizations would agree with your statement about homosexual acceptance, but they would also have to begrudgingly accept that no nation before them allowed a multitude of beliefs to exist under one flag without persecution or taxation (the Ottomans allowed diversity, but non-Muslims were charged a tax).

            Under your logic, we should go to a single denomination system and charge taxes to dissenting groups. Likewise, legal interracial marriage should be outlawed as well, as there was little room for that even in classical antiquity.

            I, on the other hand, believe that our interpretation of things change and our future and innovation as a nation and society depends on the openness and free expression of the people regardless of backgrounds and beliefs.

  • golfingirl

    How the Mayor should have responded:

    As the Mayor of Elyria, I do not feel government interference is appropriate in this issue. However, I am here today to speak as a concerned citizen of Elyria, outside my capacity as Mayor. I am not taking sides for political gain.

    Let’s create an environment that embraces opposing points of view. Dissenting viewpoints are encouraged. I embrace them, I respect all positions on this, and all matters which impact the City of Elyria. Opposition is what makes us grow.

    Each citizen of Elyria has their own personal belief system, shaped by their life experiences. Just be real, be empathetic, and understand that you, we, are all part of a great network of consciousness, which will steer the future of this city.

    The great thing about diversity is exactly that…DIVERSITY… and learning how to find ways to UNITE our differences of opinions, not finding things that separate us from one another. This requires critical thinking and detachment from emotion. For this reason, I will not take a position for, or against, one group or the other one this issue, but rather work with BOTH sides to create an atmosphere of camaraderie, cooperation and common ground.

    As your Mayor, the key for me is to not react, but rather allow everyone to express and their personal feelings on the formation of this group. I am confident the citizens of Elyria will work through this without interference from any government entities, including the Mayor’s office.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Well this was interesting reading from both parts. i’m still a little confused though. you want these people to be aloud to express themselves with these clubs and such but yet you still have dress codes??? so if you let them have clubs to come together what about all those people that like to wear their pants at there knees, don’t they count? Or the people that like their hair dyed bright green in mohawks, don’t they count? Are there clubs for these people? Just asking

  • Stan K

    Just saw the story on fox 8 news and It looks like Chris Sito is still trolling around Elyria. Looks like some things change,some things stay the same.Sito is till an ignorant bullying troll

  • LonesomeRhoades

    Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Having said that, the radical homosexuals have been working tirelessly to have their aberrant lifestyle choice not only tolerated but accepted. Not only tolerated and accepted, but promoted.
    They were not satisfied with DADT and pushed their agenda on the military.
    They were not satisfied with the many lawsuits affirming the Boy Scouts’ right to exclude homosexuals. They ignored the scouts and the judgments and still joined anyway. No respect on their part.
    Now the homosexuals are fighting hard to pervert marriage. They are perverting that institution. Perverting word meanings. They are shamelessly attacking any store owner who does not sell to them putting them out of business. They could easily go elsewhere, but that is not good enough for them!
    I hear in other countries that it is becoming a crime to quote the bible regarding this sin. I fear there will come a day when speaking the truth about homosexuality in America will land you in jail.
    It is a shame that these children are being indoctrinated under the falsely used terms of love and equality.

    • Michael A. Figueroa

      Your religious beliefs cannot nor will not govern this nation.

  • ExVaultDweller

    If I lived in Elyria, I would not be voting ‘FOR’ Issue 2…My daughter does, however, live in Elyria, so I will influence her accordingly.

  • ExVaultDweller

    They stand up for everything but Christianity! They stand up for ‘equality’ but consider Christian beliefs fairy tales.

    • Michael A. Figueroa

      Your “Christain beliefs” do not belong in a public school.

      • ExVaultDweller

        Tell Louie that…I’d like to hear how Louie would react to your declaration.

  • Mommy2kairi

    as a member of the very first GSA in the 03-04 school year i congratulate the kids and ask the parents to get educated. this club exists for bring education of the LGBTQA community to people that have no knowledge. its to stamp out hate and to bring tolerance of all walks of life to light. it gives those that need it an encouraging light of hope. these meetings do not talk about personal sexual orientation its about bringing awareness to the LBGTQA community. to SHOW the community that certain things are not and will not be tolerated.
    as such i would like to SHOW people by challenging them to google mathew shepard and seeing who he was. then ask yourself :
    is it acceptable to let your child or other children be condemned for who they are and can not change?
    is it acceptable to let such hate take away your child or a child of another parent in such a cruel manner?
    lastly know the golden rule , is it acceptable to treat others this way?

    i would hope you all say NO! to each of these once you learn his story and the stories of others that ended up like him. there are more than stamping out hate on the agenda and awareness like the war on aids, or helping other in the community fight certain life battles by aiding in communal support, being there as a beacon of hope. that is why there is a GSA exists. im hapy to see the club has finally made a come back.

    • Nick25

      How many other INSANE letters can we string together for complete perversion?

      We’re rotting from the inside out.

  • Michael A. Figueroa

    I congratulate these brave students for promoting what this country is supposed to be all about: equality and the pursuit of happiness. You cannot stop progress.

  • Nick25

    Perversion and depravity. We’re losing our kids.