The national Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has nominated an article by Press-Telegram staff writer Phillip Zonkel for one of its annual media awards.
The nomination in the Outstanding Newspaper Article category was for Zonkel's investigative story that revealed most Long Beach area school districts hadn't complied with a new state law addressing gay bullying in schools.
AB 9, The Safe Place to Learn Act, requires districts to update their anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies to include actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Districts also are required to inform students and parents of their rights and have a plan to quickly investigate and solve harassment and bullying.
In his two-part series, Zonkel also interviewed gay, lesbian and bisexual students at nine area high schools and told their stories of discrimination, fear and isolation.
Zonkel's article was one of five from across the nation to be nominated in the category for the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
According to GLAAD's website, the awards "celebrate outstanding representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and our allies on TV, in film, and in the news."