Dear Principal,I graduated from Williamston High School in 1997. While a student there, I was involved in a lot of activities such as Quiz Bowl, drama and choir as well as student government. I think back on that time with some fondness, partly due to the influence of my teachers, especially Mr. [Redacted] and Mr. [Redacted], whom I see are still teaching there. I was close with Mr. [Redacted] as well. But it was also difficult for my LGBT classmates, in particular my twin sister, because they were treated badly by other students. I distinctly remember my sister and close friends being openly teased in classrooms and hallways without repercussions. I also remember a classmate wearing a t-shirt that said "Silly Faggot, Dicks are for Chicks" t-shirt and when I raised objections to it, I myself was teased for being offended.Fortunately, my LGBT classmates and my sister have gone on to have productive and happy lives.I wish I could say that everything is better for gay kids today, but of course it's not.* Gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students hear anti-gay slurs about 26 times a day, or every 14 minutes. (National Mental Health Association, 2002) . * According to a 2005 National School Climate Survey by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, bullying around issues of sexual orientation, non-conforming gender behaviors and dress was the most common form of bullying, second only to issues of appearance (e.g., body size and disability). * For every lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth who is bullied, four straight students who are perceived to be gay or lesbian are bullied.* LGBTQ teens are more than twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to be depressed and think about or attempt suicide. * And of course the recent suicides of Tyler Clementi, Justin Aaberg, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, and Billy Lucas add a sorrowful urgency to this situation. In response to the spate of suicides, many people are speaking out a little more and there is a project called "Write Your Principal" (www.writeyourprincipal.com) in which people ask their principals what is being done at their schools to ensure a safe and friendly environment for all kids, including the gay kids. I do not live in Michigan, but if I did live nearby, I would offer to help in anyway possible to make this happen.You were not my principal in 1997, obviously, but you are the principal at my old school, so I ask you to ask you what you are doing to prevent bullying at Williamston, and to make the campus safe for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.I know that Williamston has changed as a community since the late 1990s and I hope that it has become a more tolerant and welcoming place.Sincerely,Katy P.