Community shows support for McCormick students threatened because of orientation, race

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Residents speak about own incidents with racism, homophobia

In response to anti-gay and racist flyers handed out by McCormick Junior High students on Wednesday, March 27,  a public meeting was held Friday, March 29, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Pastor Rodger McDaniel speaks during a public meeting on Friday, March 29, to address racist, homophobic flyers and reports of bullying LGBT+ students at McCormick Junior High.

The event was attended by members of the community, including students, parents, local religious leaders, the ACLU, Wyoming Equality and others who represent Cheyenne. The Cheyenne Police Department was also present to show support and keep those in attendance safe, though there were no protests or interruptions during the event.

The event heightened Cheyenne’s already prevalent issues of racism and homophobia in not only public schools but the community and homes of these children. Many spoke from direct or indirect experiences inside and outside of the Laramie County School District No. 1 school system. It was clear that this specific incident may not be an isolated event but it’s forcing the community to have a real conversation on what it should do next.

The event was considered a great success by Sara Burlingame, Wyoming Equality executive director and Democrat in the Wyoming House of Representatives. The exact numbers in attendance are unknown, but the church was filled. The event took in donations and raised a substantial amount of money for the NAACP: $755.55  in physical donations and $1,455 online.

At the end of the event in an interview with fired co-sponsor of McCormick’s GSA chapter and substitute teacher Kaycee Cook, she stated that until we live up to the name of our state as the “Equality State,” we should consider changing it. She also stated that the students are all victims and that the students who passed out these flyers need to be met with love and respect.

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