Tom Jacobs On Foster Care and LGBT Youth

It’s a good time to reflect on some troubling statistics concerning LGBTQ foster children and do something to make a difference. It is estimated that approximately 260,000 youth are in the foster care system in the United States at any given time, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Additionally, it is estimated that up to 18 percent of children in foster care are LGBTQ youth. These youth are falling through the cracks and are more at risk of becoming runaways, homeless, suicidal and harassed by peers. According to the research conducted for the American Bar Association’s Opening Doors Project, judges and lawyers who work with youth in foster care acknowledge they don’t have the knowledge or resources to help LGBT foster kids.

Judge Tom Jacobs: Megan Meier Law to Be Tested on Middle School Students

You may remember Megan’s story from the many news reports over the past four years. Megan Meier took her life in 2006 after being bullied online by Josh Evans, a fictitious 16-year-old. Josh befriended Megan on MySpace, flirted with her for a month and then dumped her stating, “The world would be a better place without you in it.” Thirteen-year-old Megan hanged herself in her bedroom. At the time of Megan’s death, Missouri did not have any anti-bullying or cyberbullying laws. Soon after her suicide, it was discovered that Josh didn’t exist.