Meet Paula Kerner,
the newest member of our team!
Politicians across the country continue their attacks on LGBTQ youth at every turn. On Friday, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill will officially take effect in Florida. That means thousands of teachers and coaches will be at risk of getting fired for the crime of uttering a single word about LGBTQ people.
In other states, lawmakers are advancing new laws to charge doctors with a felony for providing medically-necessary health care to transgender youth. Politicians are pushing the same hateful agenda here, but we’re not running from the fight.
Politicians can’t scare us out of standing up for LGBTQ youth. That’s why instead of running from the problem, we’re leaning in. We launched the Safe & Healthy Schools Initiative to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our kids safe, supported and prepared to become the leaders of tomorrow.
I’m excited to announce that Paula Kerner, a 35-year veteran of Kanawha County Schools, is joining our team to lead this new initiative. Paula is an award-winning, nationally board certified teacher, and I know she’s the fighter our kids need right now.
As a civics teacher at Capital High School, Paula has been the faculty advisor for her school’s Gay Straight Alliance for 12 years.
“Of course it’s about the curriculum, and learning all the things we expect them to learn,” she said. “But when they say they’re better off as a person when they leave my classroom? That’s all a teacher needs to hear. When kids realize they can make a difference, that they can advocate for themselves and for their community — that’s the most important thing.”
For Paula, the most rewarding part of being a teacher is watching her students gain self-confidence.
While Paula joining our team is fantastic, one person can’t do it all. We need your help, too. That’s why I’m inviting you to The Fairness Prom, our annual gala to raise the money we need to keep this work going.
Please join us on Sept. 17 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston for a night of food, music, dancing, and fun with LGBTQ leaders and allies from across the state. Buy your ticket now! Proceeds go directly to funding our educational programs.
I want to thank you for all your support. Without generous donors like you who believe in our mission, we wouldn’t have been able to bring a leader like Paula to our team. We appreciate every donation we receive, no matter how big or how small.
Now, let’s get to work.
Yours in Fairness,
P.S. I want to also thank all of our generous sponsors for helping to make The Fairness Prom a success. And we’re still accepting additional sponsorships. Want to join this list? Let me know!