Graeme Taylor, a fourteen-year-old high school student, took the podium at a school board meeting in Michigan to speak out in favor of Jay McDowell, a teacher suspended after a heated exchange with two students over the Confederate flag and gay rights. After hearing Taylor’s speech, every adult involved should go to their room and think about what they did.
Taylor is poised and articulate as he explains the struggles of being a young gay student in a backwards place. “Howell is the headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan,” Taylor reminds the room, after invoking Martin Luther King, Jr. “I hope that one day we too can be judged on the content of our character and not who we love,” he said.
“I’ve been in rooms where children have said the worst kinds of things,” said Taylor, the kind of things that led him to attempt suicide at only nine-years-old. He called the rash of gay bullying in America a “silent holocaust.”
Taylor said the teacher, McDowell, did “an amazing thing” and should be paid for the day he missed. “How would you like more headlines of ‘Howell Denies Gays,'” Taylor asked. Still, the school board says they cannot take action because the punishment was handed down from district administrators.
But just listen to the kid.
Board: Teacher discipline is administrative matter [Livingston Daily via Daily Intel]