An end to bullying starts in the home

In recent months, we have been made painfully aware of the suicides of several our youth in this country. Our teenagers are succumbing to the pressures of bullying at an alarming rate. How many more of these precious children need to be lost, their lives taken by their own hand, because of the tyranny of others in their schools?

School is supposed to be a haven of learning where adolescents can feel safe, yet for some, it has become the place of daily torment leaving them filled with anguish and despair. The reasons that they are subjected to this cruelty vary. More recently, the publicized cases have been simply because the child was gay or suspected to be gay. However, the reach is broader, and the discrimination may be the result of an accent, a disability, or perhaps the way the child dresses. The reasons are different, but the root cause of the problem remains the same: intolerance.

The intolerance that’s so prevalent within these adolescents can sometimes be attributed to their own esteem issues, but I feel that much of the problem stems from the fact that these children aren’t being taught tolerance in the home. Instead, they carry on the bigotry of their well-meaning parents. I by no means admonish principals or teachers from their responsibility to monitor children’s behavior while they attend school or loosen my belief that stronger legislation needs to be put in place to protect our youth, but parents have the duty to instill compassion and caring for humankind in their children . This isn’t the duty of the schools or the legislature. Our children must be taught in our homes from a young age that they ought to love one another regardless of any apparent differences, just as we love them without regard to theirs. Parents, please teach your children well.
— Shannon Fallon, letter. Fallon is public relations chair for Upstate SC Pride in Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.

Fred Phelps and Free Speech

In response to Westboro Baptist Church’s free speech case at the Supreme Court (, two readers say:

“Should it be legal to protest at funerals?” Absolutely NOT! A funeral is not an occasion where it is fair to harass the bereaved. They are NOT in a normal state of mind. It is a PERSONAL ATTACK to do so. If my son were being buried and protesters showed up, there would be a lot more funerals in the making. That’s a promise.
— KevinKJT, web, Oct. 8

As much as I dislike the Phelps clan, if they lose in the SCOTUS then we all lose…No matter how much we hate what is said, We must defend their right to speak it. Over the Past few years the SCOTUS has been chipping away our rights all in the name of National Security, If we lost this right they we will never to able to question our government without the fear of being throw in jail.
— SNT, web, Oct. 8

Pride Charlotte

Readers respond to this year’s Pride Charlotte festival (

I attended this event and was pleased to see such a large attendance. There was a small pin being worn and I am hoping that someone will direct me to the source. It read (talk-action=0)
— Sera Callif, web, Oct. 3

We had a great time at Pride this year and loved the new location. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the various vendors and events that were offered. The only thing that I would even ask for is more of these types of events happening more often for our community throughout the year. Thanks to everyone involved.
— Brad Thomas, web, Oct. 4

The NC Music Factory was an ideal venue. I am glad I attended as I have for the past several years, because I had the opportunity to speak with some Indian Hindus about why Hinduism does NOT condemn the LGBT community. A great event.
— Shakti Subramanian, web, Oct. 4

The music factory is a great location but I still didn’t see people going into the Center. There needs to be something to draw people inside. A Big Arrow? Performer autographs? How many of those people actually knew where the Center was? And how many other people couldn’t get to Pride because public transportation doesn’t go near the Music Factory? Next year, think about doing a shuttle from the transportation center or someplace uptown.
— KJ, web, Oct. 7

Center leadership

Readers react to news of changes in Charlotte Center leadership (

John Stotler has been involved in this community for years. I hope his vision can help the center get back on track.
— KJ, web, Oct. 6

KJ, I too hope John can bring the center back to some sort of mission. It’s been lacking one for a long time now, and so many people int eh community would be so supportive if only the community center had the guts to do something, stand up for somehting, speak out for soemthing. But, no, it hasn’t done that in a long while.
— Oscar Meyer Weiner, web, Oct. 6