I'm writing to you as an alumnus of Phillipsburg Catholic High School and someone who shares your love of and concern for young people. I graduated from PCHS in 1987, shortly before it was taken over by the Diocese and subsequently closed. I'm writing to you today as part of an initiative called Write Your Principal in response to the recent wave of suicides of young people, some as young as 12 or 13, that has recently been in the news. In many cases the parents of the victims report that they requested help from the school administration on numerous occasions and nothing was done.Kids who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or perceived to be due to the way they present themselves) hear anti-gay slurs about 26 times a day, or every 14 minutes (National Mental Health Association, 2002) . Nearly 20% of teens surveyed by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) in 2005 reported hearing homophobic remarks from school staff. It is small wonder that LGBT kids are four times more likely to commit suicide or be the victim of violence. In a heartbreaking case this summer, a 17-month-old Long Island boy named Roy died from beating he received from his mother's boyfriend. The man's explanation was that Roy "acted like a girl". During my time at PCHS I experienced and witnessed bullying and was not aware that anyone did anything to stop it. I did not identify as gay (in fact I didn't really even know what it was) but certain of my classmates felt empowered to pick on anybody who was different. Today young people know (or think they know) much more about sexuality than I did. They are aware of what adults in their lives are saying, and they question their own identities come to their own sometimes misguided conclusions about how they should respond. I left the Roman Catholic Church shortly after high school and today work with youth at an Episcopal parish. "My" kids tell me that bullying is a very real problem, and we have worked individually with some of them who were targets of harassment to be sure they understand that this behavior says more about the bully than the bullied.I was pleased to see that SPSJ has a cyber-bullying policy in place in the Student Handbook. In many of the recently-reported cases, the internet was the primary vehicle for bullies. However, I am curious what kind of education your students and faculty are given around this issue, especially in light of the Roman Catholic Church's very public stance on homosexuality. It has been my experience that some kids take the disapproval of religious leaders as permission to torment their LGBT classmates with impunity. I hope this is not tolerated at SPSJ and that every student is made to feel that he or she has value and is worthy of God's love.Thank you for taking the time to hear my story. I hope to hear back from you, and please let me know if I may share your response with the Write Your Principal initiative to help further this conversation.Thank you,Christian P.