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Signal boosting from Tamora Pierce's Live Journal entry of March 21st,

Today I got the following e-mail from a fan that made my blood boil. I'm asking you to help if you can and definitely, definitely boost the signal so we can lobby the school and call the cowards out. (And yes, I have Kata's permission to quote her mail in full!) Remember, when it comes to donations, even $5.00 is $5.00 more than they had, and signatures and signal boosts are just as powerful. Thanks, folks.
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With all the news recently about the rapes in Steubenville, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do as a society to try to attempt to stop things like this from happening again. One thing that I feel is needed is sex education for all.

Unfortunately, something has happened recently that is preventing me and many of those around me from receiving this education.



I am a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and until recently, we were planning a school-wide “Sex Week” funded by the University on a combination of money from tuition and state taxes. This week would be a week on campus dedicated to providing sex education of all types to the students on campus.

Topics for the week included virginity, sex and religion, homosexuality, safe sex, healthy relationships, and countless other topics that young people need to know about. Unfortunately, about a week ago, Fox News published a misleading article severely misconstruing what was planned for the week. This caused a major uproar on and off campus. On campus, students were criticizing the bigotry found in the article, and making well-formed arguments against this attack on an educational, university-approved activity. Off campus, however, Tennessee Senator Stacey Campfield decided to use this publicity to attempt to stop this event from happening by threatening the funding that was to be used to support Sex Week. (You may remember him as the man who caused an uproar with his attempts at “anti-gay” measures in schools)

Apparently his threats, even though the budget had already been approved, managed to cow the members of our administration, because Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced today that all funding from state taxes was to be cut—$11,145 dollars, leaving the organizers of the program with just $6,700 where there used to be $17,845.

Sex Week will continue as planned, but a lot of funding will have to come from donations. I’m not here asking you to donate, but I was hoping that you could use your influence as a respected woman with strong personal beliefs to make more people aware of what is going on. This is something that is very important to me, and I hope that you find it to be important as well. Even sharing our story on Facebook would mean the world to me.

I also hoped to take this moment to thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. Your books, with their strong women and practical lessons, have shaped me into the person I am today. I know that without you, my life would be completely different. I would never have had the courage to get myself out of a situation where I was bullied, I would not be so confident in myself, and I would definitely not have had the courage to write this letter if not for you. So thank you.

Yours Sincerely,

Kata
Freshman

Aforementioned articles:

The Fox article that sparked this mess.

Things Senator Stacey Campfield has done.

Today’s disappointing announcement

Donation page for Sex Week UTK.

Petition to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek asking to approve the funding again.

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