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Brandon Vestal of Rockwall: Gay students deserve protection, too

(Dallas Morning News) – Brandon Vestal teaches eighth-grade history at Utley Middle School in Rockwall and is aTeacher Voices volunteer columnist. His e-mail address is vestal78 @gmail .com.

In this country, according to the Declaration of Independence, you have the right to pursue what you think will make you happy. It’s right up there with the right to life and liberty.

I think we would all agree that the pursuit of happiness begins in childhood. In school, the education of a child isn’t limited to English, math and science; children are also learning who they are and who they want to be. As a middle school teacher, I see kids each day attempt to balance the internal desires of who they want to be and external social pressure of what others think they should be. The external pressure is so powerful because it seems as though social acceptance is a part of everybody’s pursuit of happiness.

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