>The second GSA* in the country, located at Phillips Academy (alma mater of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush), recently celebrated 20 years of existence. To honor those 20 years of organizing and advocacy work the school had an interscholastic all-day conference discussing contemporary LGBT topics.
“It is so rare to find an occasion in which so many young leaders come together to share ideas and experiences. It’s a privilege to build upon our progress within the gay rights movement and to honor those who led the way before us. A lot of progress has been made during our 20 years of operation, but it is our duty as future representatives of the movement to expand upon this transition toward a more open, unified world.” -GSA leaders Liz Brown ’09 and Alina Pechacek ’09
*The first GSA was started by GLSEN Founder Kevin Jennings in 1988 at Concord Academy in Massachusetts.
- Phillips Academy GSA: 20 Years of Friendship and Activism (Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms)
>Here's a message we just received:
"So I was watching ABC Family this past weekend and one of your commercials was aired. I just caught the end of it but I know that it had Hillary Duff in it and was a discussion about the use of the word "gay" in the pejorative. I thought to myself. "YES!!!" We are on our way.
Keep up the AMAZING work. We are watching."
a 26-year old southern gay
If you don't know what adam b is talking about, check out ThinkB4YouSpeak.com!
>What are you and your friends doing for the Day of Silence? Did you participate last year? How did your school’s administration react? Did you hold a "Breaking the Silence" event? How did you celebrate it?
We want to know what you and your GSA are doing. Your stories can help other students. We’ll take the best of the bunch and post them to the blog so that others will benefit from your experience.
NOTE: You can tell us the whole story, but we will take care not to identify you, your school or any individuals by name.)
Send your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure "BLOG Story" is in the subject line of your message.
>Last year students from nearly 8,000 middle and high schools, a record-breaking number, participated in the Day of Silence. Wow—that’s amazing! How do we know? Because students registered their DOS observance at our sister site: StudentOrganizing.org.
This year, we need YOU and ALL your friends to register too.
Sure, we know it takes a few minutes, but don’t miss the point: we need to know how many people participate in the Day of Silence to help promote the huge positive impact the event makes in schools across country. By registering, you are helping us prove that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. So we need each and every participant to register!
As of today we know there are over 2,500 schools where a Day of Silence will be held on April 17th.
Remember: Don’t just participate, REGISTER!
Not only will you be counted, GLSEN will mail you stickers and speaking cards that you can use on the Day of Silence. It’s just one way we say, “Thanks!”
>The one-year anniversary of the shooting and death of Lawrence King, an eighth grade student in Oxnard, California will be Thursday, February 12th.
What are you doing to honor his memory? Let us know.
Is your GSA holding a vigil? Those can be posted here.
>The Los Angeles Times reported today on yet another tragedy in California, this time the sad story of a 14-year-old boy who shot himself at school because of constant torment and bullying.
How many more stories like this do we have to read before schools and policy makers make a definitive commitment to address this problem?
Tall, awkward and dealing with a learning disability, 14-year-old Jeremiah Lasater was a target of frequent taunts by schoolyard bullies at Vasquez High School in Acton, students said Tuesday.
Even the classroom wasn't always safe for the 6-foot-5 teen, who in middle school was poked and teased by some of his fellow special needs students, according to a former teacher.
Monday was no different. At least two boys threw food at Lasater during lunch, two students said.
Then, as lunch was ending and other students scurried to fifth-period classes, Lasater headed to a boy's bathroom and locked himself inside a stall. He pulled out a weapon and shot himself in the head.
For over a year, GLSEN has been working with the Ad Council to develop a campaign against anti-LGBT language, and it’s finally here!
You can check out the New York Times story about the campaign here.
At the new website for this campaign you'll find the video PSAs and resources and links to help stop anti-LGBT language and behavior. Go there to sign a pledge against such language and pass it on to your friends!
Our brand new 2007 National School Climate Survey was also released Wednesday. The NSCS is the only national survey to document the experiences of students who identify as LGBT in America's secondary schools. Read all about it and even download the full report here.
And while you're exploring all this new stuff at GLSEN, also check out our new website.
Thanks for supporting us - you make our work possible!
>In this age of digital everything we can use our web resources to help create safer schools for all students.
This resource below shows how to use Facebook for your activism needs and the tips and tools can be used for other social networking sites.
It was picked from a great site http://www.digiactive.org/
>After experiencing constant harassment and even assault at his West Islip middle school, Patrick Kohlmann, 13, made a video presentation to help parents and teachers understand the impact of bullying. When he was told it was too “graphic” to show the PTA, Patrick took his message to YouTube, where the it has now received over 95,000 views and nation-wide media coverage. Check out Patrick’s inspirational project below.