Anti-bullying platform: Gay teacher makes bid for Atlanta School Board


By MATT SCHAFER
Southern Voice
Just a few months after dropping out of the race for the Atlanta City Council District 6 seat, Charlie Stadtlander, a gay elementary school teacher, announced his run for the District 3 post in the Atlanta School Board race.

Stadtlander, who teaches in DeKalb County, will challenge incumbent Cecily Harsch-Kinnane for the District 3 seat on the Atlanta’s Board of Education. If he wins, Stadtlander would be the first known openly gay man to serve on the city’s school board. Former school board president Mitzi Bickers came out as a lesbian when she made an unsuccessful run for chair of the Fulton County Commission.

“[Having a gay representative on the school board] is important for several reasons, but I feel that any governing body should be representative of the population it covers, and right now there is no one representing gay interests,” Stadtlander said.

Stadtlander will kick off his campaign officially on July 30. He said if elected one of his priorities would be to work for tougher anti-bullying policies in Atlanta schools and lobby for change on a statewide level.

“I think that the anti-bullying policy for the APS and the mandates from the state are wholly inadequate to protect our students, and bullying a student for any reason is wrong,” Stadtlander said.

Stadtlander said the April 16 suicide of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera, who attended Dunaire Elementary School in the DeKalb County School System, and the recent increase in the Atlanta property tax rate prompted him to look at the District 3 race. Full story.

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