Triangles aren't political

I was perturbed by Bill Rossberg's comments about the triangles indicating that counselors' offices at local high schools are safe spaces [News, October 23: "Sticker shock: Rainbow riles parents"]. His attitude shows a disregard for children.

None of us knows exactly who or what our children will turn out to be. They are individuals. They may become astronauts, factory workers, Nobel Prize winners and gay. Rossberg's assumption that his children will not have questions and concerns related to their sexual orientation is harmful to them, and to all our children.

A way of avoiding the controversy might be to use a safe space logo instead of the triangles, but I feel compelled to point out that the triangles have a completely different meaning from religious symbols. Therefore, their presence does not require a school to give equal space to other symbols.

Why? Because teens wishing to discuss their religion, their athletic status, or their social status will not be accused of immorality or perhaps have to face violence. Gay or questioning teens, on the other hand, may have to.

Teens who fear being treated this way, or who themselves believe their feelings are immoral, are at particularly high risk for suicide. Indications of safe space are needed to prevent teen suicides, to prevent Columbine tragedies. In this context, the triangles are not political symbols but symbols of safe haven for a teen who may be desperate.

Why the posting of triangles is considered part of "an extreme left-wing agenda" (Rossberg) or "political" (former school board candidate Linda McRaven) is beyond me. Is the reader not aware of the Log Cabin Republicans? What about Dick Cheney? Acceptance is beyond politics. It's about being human.

If we're going to talk about extreme, let's look at those who would cast stones rather than understand that we're all human.

The guidance counselors I know are driven not by agendas, but by genuine desire to help children. When my son is old enough to be in high school, I hope he will know that they will listen to anything that may be troubling him with tolerance and acceptance.

For the sake of all of our children, I hope those who are uncaring and intolerant are unsuccessful in their efforts to have these symbols of safety removed. To paraphrase Sting: I hope the right-wing extremists love their children, too.

Valerie L'Herrou
North Garden

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