From:SARATOGANY@aol.com
Date:Tue, 12 Feb 2002 12:05:02 EST
Subject: GLSEN Praises NEA's Bold Steps to Address Anti-Gay Abuse of Students

Message from:
The Coalition for Safer Schools of NYS, PO Box 2345, Malta, NY 12020
John Myers, Director of Operations and Programs
Email to:SARATOGANY@aol.com
The Real or Perceived Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Student Protection Project
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Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network
GLSEN Press Release
http://www.glsen.org
glsen@glsen.org
212-727-0135.

February 11, 2002

GLSEN Praises NEA's Bold Steps to Address Anti-Gay Abuse of Students, Staff in America's Schools

NEW YORK, NY--The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, today praised the nation's largest teachers' union for setting a new standard in addressing anti-gay harassment and abuse in America's schools. On Friday, February 8, the National Education Association's (NEA) Board of Directors adopted a series of task force recommendations that among other things will encourage the adoption of inclusive anti-harassment policies and development of factual materials for classroom and community discussion on these issues.
"The NEA's commitment to creating learning environments in which all students and staff can reach their academic or professional potential has never been more clear," stated GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings. "These powerful new recommendations signal that help is on the way for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and staff who experience day-to-day abuse in America's schools." According to GLSEN's 2001 National School Climate Survey, four out of five LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment in school.

The NEA Board took action following several months of study by a broad-based internal task force. The Board also approved a recommendation to expand existing NEA policies that include "sexual orientation" to also include "gender identification" -- a recognition that transgender students and staff face pervasive abuse in schools.

"The NEA has shown tremendous leadership, and we look forward to the full implementation of these lifesaving recommendations," stated Public Policy Director Mary Kate Cullen. She cited a recently released poll of American parents, conducted for GLSEN by Lake Snell Perry and Associates, showing that over 80% support protections for LGBT students, as well as teacher trainings on tolerance. Cullen added, "GLSEN will encourage other education organizations and policymakers to join America's teachers and parents in supporting safer school days for all."

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GLSEN is the largest national network of parents, students, educators and others working to create safe schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and staff. Visit http://www.glsen.org for more information.

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John Myers
Director of Operations and Programs
(518) 587-0176

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