Bullying affects millions of students every year and is among the most profound problems schools face. The behavior is particularly harmful to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students. However, the presence of supportive educators who can intervene appropriately and effectively to address bullying has a direct correlation with improved educational outcomes for students.
GLSEN's research shows that LGBT students who can identify supportive school staff report a greater sense of safety at school, skipping school less often and a stronger commitment to continuing their education through high school and beyond.
GLSEN is working with school districts across the country to implement training programs to help educators learn how to make their school safer for all students. Here are examples of the profound impact GLSEN's training programs are having in two communities.
NYC DOE Respect for All Initiative
GLSEN, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, has trained and participated in training more than 2,000 teachers and educators as part of the Respect for All initiative.
"GLSEN was a crucial partner in the development and delivery of the Respect for All program, contributing its expertise on LGBT issues in education to the City's effort to find real solutions to the problem of bullying and harassment in our schools," Chancellor Joel Klein said. "We look forward to our continued partnership with GLSEN as the program enters its second year."
The other community partners in the Respect for All initiative are the Anti-Defamation League, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, Operation Respect and Youth Enrichment Services of the New York LGBT Center.
The trainings have been well received by educators across New York City:
"I would love to see all teachers, security agents, deans and guidance counselors go through this very impressive workshop."
- Bronx Middle School teacher
"Fantastic! The best workshop in my 18 years in the DOE. Best workshop the DOE has ever offered. I loved every minute and learned so much."
- Queens Public School Teacher
"The information Iíve learned will help me to reach my students with a much better understanding, sensitivity and support. Thank you."
- Manhattan Public School Teacher
"This presentation was most helpful, empowering and enlightening. We are better informed and equipped to be proactive and to help others. It should be mandatory for all DOE."
- Staten Island Teacher
Rochester City School District
In a groundbreaking initiative, Rochester City School District proactively sought out GLSEN to conduct trainings to secondary school staff and administrators. After noticing a prevalence of anti-lgbt bullying in its schools, RSCD decided to provide trainings to all secondary school staff focusing on tools to prevent anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.
At the end of the school year, GLSEN will have trained over 1,200 principals, administrators, teachers and social workers on how to intervene when they witness anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, making RSCD one of the first school districts to implement a district-wide initiative to end bullying due to perceived/real sexual orientation and gender identity,
Staff from the RSCD who have received the trainings have responded positively. Below are quotes from some school staff that have undergone our trainings:
"I appreciated getting a better understanding of keeping all of our students safe."
"The GLSEN presentation was done very well and is long overdue for the RCSD."
"The GLSEN training will help me be a better administrator"