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Vote for film on high school homophobia: 'We Belong'

Here is a  brave documentary online that is worth your click.  We Belong is the story of two teens in rural Pennsylvania who stood up to intolerance in their schools.

In the documentary, C.J. Bills tells about the constant “sheer hell” he endured as a gay student at Franklin High School. He tells about the day he went to the locker room to use the bathroom, and tells of taunts, harassment, and hearing threatening remarks about “smearing” him. He goes to the administrator to protest what has happened, and ends up with the state police arresting and handcuffing him for disorderly conduct. To fight back, he decides to make a documentary about discrimination against gay youth in school. With his family’s help, he also initiates an investigation by the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission and shames the school district into developing an anti-bullying and diversity training program.

C.J.’s documentary project also leads him to Tim Dahle, who challenged the years of anti-gay harassment he suffered as a student at Titusville High School. After several years of harassment at his school, Tim made a serious attempt on his life. His parents decided to sue the school district for failing to protect him. According to the film, “the school district that failed to protect (Dahle) agreed to one of the largest sexual harassment settlements in history, sending a signal to school districts around the country that such behavior can be costly.”

Current TV is playing We Belong as part of its Seeds of Tolerance campaign and visitors to the site can vote for their favorite doc. Producer Joe Wilson has announced that if We Belong wins, the entire $100K prize will go to programs that help fight homophobia in schools, so please take the time to cast a vote (from now until 12:01 AM on December 2).

Hat tips to Craig K.,  PageOneQ and Towleroad.

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Pam Spaulding

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