By Molly Messick
Wheatland, WY – It was standing room only at a school board meeting in Wheatland last night. The meeting was about the board's vote, last month, to take down a banner at the school for an anti-bullying program known as "No Place For Hate."
The school board took down the banner after five parents called to complain that the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado was listed on the banner. That group is one of the program's largest funders. Wheatland High School student Abbie Geringer spoke against the board's decision. She compared "No Place For Hate" to another, less controversial anti-bullying program: "If we can support a group that has been brought on by a girl who is white, straight and Christian but we cannot support a banner that is brought on by a gay and lesbian group, what does that say about us? I as a student am so disappointed in this decision and I would really like for that banner to be replaced."
Community members who spoke on the issue were overwhelmingly in favor of the program and of bringing back the banner. School board chairman Kelly Tyson says the board will not re-visit the issue. The Anti-Defamation League runs "No Place For Hate," and has suspended the program in Wheatland as long as the banner is prohibited.