ALBANY - GLSEN Founding Executive Director Kevin Jennings testified before the New York Senate on June 10th in support of Senate Bill 1571, the Dignity for All Students Act, which would serve to protect children in public schools throughout New York State from harassment or discrimination, including such acts based on a person's actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Jennings' testimonial (see Related Documents to the right) was backed by moving words from concerned parents, public school teachers, elected school board members and students themselves, sharing personal experiences in support of the bill.
According to From Teasing to Torment, the largest-ever study of bullying and harassment in America’s schools prepared by the Harris polling organization for GLSEN in 2005, the top three reasons NY students reported being bullied were appearance (42%), sexual orientation (23%), and gender expression (12%)—and nearly 40% say that bullying and harassment is a serious problem at their school.
Along with more than 50 organizations statewide participating in the Dignity for All Students Coalition, GLSEN has worked in support of this bill since its introduction in 2000.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN’s educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs, research, public education or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.