Letters to Legislators

The following is the letter I wrote to a State Legislator whom I had been told was the one who cared the most about adolescent suicide and bullying in the schools. He was a co sponsor of legislation adopted regarding bullying, cyberbullying and hazing in the schools. I wrote seeking closure because he had been responsive but that seemed to end when I informed him that my daughter was a lesbian, that the laws needed to do more to protect this population and that there had to be more funding to address this issue in the schools to address the shocking rate of adolescent  suicide in Utah. 

Dear Representative Eliason,                                                                                               Aug. 2, 2018
                I contacted you last year regarding the circumstances around my 13 year old daughter’s suicide. Many people had told me that you were a representative who cared the most about suicide prevention. Yet sadly I felt you stopped communicating with me after I shared that my daughter was a lesbian. While I tried, I could not find any other reason that you ceased correspondence with me.
                My reason for reaching out is to let you know that. I have come to feel as voiceless as my daughter’s artwork expressed before she chose to end her life. This is in part because you stopped communicating with me after I shared her sexual orientation. Sadly, having been a teacher in our school district for the previous three years, I had information I think you need to hear regarding the dire situation in MOST Utah schools. I had reviewed in depth the most recent legislation which you had helped craft with Representative Escamilla on bullying, cyber-bullying and hazing. While there were positive improvements from the previous laws around these issues, there were key components missing. If you truly do care about protecting ALL students you must find it in your heart to care about those most at risk in this country and especially in this state – those who identify as LGBTQIA.
                It is my hope that possibly you just got busy, or possibly your computer crashed and you lost the emails we were exchanging. Even through this unbearable pain, I continue to try to see the best in people – hoping that the world can become a place where beautiful, kind, caring and wonderful children such as my daughter and so many others like her, will feel hope where there is now only hopelessness.
                If you decide to hear my insights on HB 161 as someone who has taught in the school system of Utah, as well as a mother who has lost her greatest wealth as a result of this system, please contact me.
I am attaching the components necessary for effective change to our shocking and frightening adolescent
 suicide rate. I have sent these to the State Board of Education, to the Governor and the Lt. Governor. For real and effective change to happen these MUST be mandated on the state level. I hope you will look into your heart and find there the love needed to truly address this hopeless situation. There are too many lives at risk. Please do what you can to protect them.
Molly McClish

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