Below is a link to the letter I sent to the Governor and Lt. Governor of Utah, hoping they would make greater effort to address this issue. following that letter is the letter I sent to a Representative who has a reputation about caring most about suicide and bullying in our state but who stopped communicating after I informed him my daughter was a lesbian. I included the letter to the state school board to the governor and Lt. Gov and to all, I included the Necessary Components for Change.
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​Dear Governor Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Cox,                            Aug. 2, 2018                                               
                I write to you with the hopes that you will take a few moments to hear my story, that of my 13 year old daughter who committed suicide and my thoughts on action necessary if we are to reduce the rate of adolescent suicide in Utah. I was glad to hear of the task force to address the alarming rate of suicide, especially adolescent suicide in our state. My heart was deeply glad when I heard that you were focusing on groups at greatest risk, including LGBTQIA adults and youth. Sadly, I feel that these attempts often result in new language, new words or promises that end up being only that - nice words but no real action or implementation. My deepest wish is that this is not what comes of the efforts of the task force. Utah needs real and in depth change to address the rampant suffering experienced by so many of its citizens.
                The past year and a half have been simply utter devastation for me – complete annihilation. Throughout this process of trying to survive this unbearable pain, I have worked to create change within my local school district, my community, and on the state level. While needed changes have happened to some degree locally, I feel that change must happen at the state level for it to be real and have the desired outcome. I am sharing with you the second letter I sent to the State Board of Education. For effective change to happen, I feel that it must be implemented and mandated at that level. Furthers protective laws need to be passed and most importantly enforced within the legislature as well. I hope that you will support and work for this change.


As I stated in the letter, I feel as my daughter did – voiceless. This is because our state has a serious problem with institutionalized discrimination. Words are one thing, but what is actually happening in schools (as well as within the general culture of Utah) is completely different. Each school and each teacher has an ethical and moral duty to protect and keep ALL students safe – regardless of any identification of sexual orientation, gender identity, race or creed.
                I sincerely hope that you will help the people of Utah find the love needed to create an environment (in our schools and throughout our state) that gives ALL students, including those who identify as LGBTQIA, hope and a sense that they are valued. The hopeless environment currently faced by these students who are most at risk is a direct reason that our adolescent suicide rate is so high. I witnessed this environment and what is happening or lacking as a teacher in my district for three years.  I do not want ANY mother, any family or any child, to experience this horror. It is my belief that you can directly help change this. Although the most recent bill passed on bullying/cyber-bullying and hazing was an improvement, it is not enough. Critical elements are missing and there is no one holding schools or the State Board of Education accountable for implementation of these policies. Remember that those who are suffering because of this situation often do not feel empowered to speak out.
                Although my experience with trying to create needed change in this state has left me hopeless and led to my decision to leave, I truly care about the many children who are suffering and I know what is at risk. I feel that my daughter was swallowed by hate, meanness, cruelty and deep-seated cultural discrimination. I also feel that you can and MUST do something about it. I hope you will find the love in your heart that is necessary to change this frightening situation.


Best Regards,
Molly


Molly McClish


435.260.2322/[email protected]