June 20, 2012
GLSEN’s Safe Space Sticker Helped Me Find An Ally
Troy is a high school student in Ocoee, Florida and shared with us how GLSEN programs and resources have impacted his life. Have GLSEN programs and resources helped you, your students, or your family? Share your GLSEN story with us.
GLSEN gave me the opportunity to take action in a way never before available. I have always been a supporter of LGBT rights, or as I view it, simple human rights. Many friends of mine who were gay only came out when they knew that there were people like me and teachers who were available for support. I know that I have a friend and an ally today that I never would have even considered last school year.
It was my English teacher who is an avid supporter of LGBT rights and projects it with a Safe Space sticker. I immediately knew that she was a person I could come to for anything. I come to her with my problems and to seek help for others and together we might have even saved a life. To ban those resources will not just take away the benefits, it will cause harm. The benefits are an opening of vision to other people’s personalities and lifestyles, and the effects are saved lives and alleviated depression and stress for struggling teens. This will only makes the lives of these already struggling teens harder. I am sure also that these teens will hear of this ban of GLSEN resources. This will makes them feel alienated–as if the people who are meant to be role models, the authority figures of their school system, do not approve of the way that they feel.
So once again, Erie, IL Community School Board, I implore to you to reverse the ban of GLSEN resources in your school district because not only are you impeding a step forward, you are taking three steps back. You are not just taking away benefits but you are directly causing pain and suffering to the children in your district.
Take Action to #ReverseTheBan in Erie, IL
The Erie Community Unit School District in Illinois banned the use of GLSEN resources and programs such as No Name-Calling Week and Ready, Set, Respect! in elementary schools. These programs and resources – endorsed by national leaders in elementary education including the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Elementary School Principals – had been successfully used in schools in Erie until this decision. And they continue to be used in thousands of schools across the country.
We reached out to the School Board in hopes of opening a dialogue, and we asked the School Board to reconsider.
Unfortunately, the school board won’t budge. So now we need your help.