A Christian group’s protests has spurred some schools to pull their involvement from next week’s Mix it Up at Lunch Day—an 11-year-old program meant to reduce prejudice among students that’s sponsored by the Teaching Tolerance project, part of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Interview: Lesléa Newman Discusses her Novel in Verse About the Death of Matthew Shepard, ‘October Mourning’
Author Lesléa Newman has always felt an obligation to help the world remember Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was brutally beaten and left to die in October 1998. Shepard’s death brought national attention to the issue of homophobic bullying and helped galvanize anti-bullying awareness nationwide. With October Mourning, a novel in verse, Newman explores Shepard’s death in 68 poems. SLJ talked with Newman about how she came to write October Mourning, her use of poetic forms, and the challenges of writing about this painful topic.