NEW YORK - The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard about the Girl Scouts of Colorado's decision to accept a transgender child into a local troop. The decision comes after the child was denied enrollment by a local troop leader unaware of the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
"Families with transgender children have limited access to school or community resources that promote their child's healthy development. But yesterday, the Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomed a transgender child to join a local troop and become involved in its activities emphasizing empowerment, skills building and community service.
"There is an outstanding need for promoting respect and inclusion in both our schools and communities. Nearly 64% of LGBT students are called names or threatened at school simply because of their gender expression. In addition to ensuring safe and respectful schools, youth organizations like the Girl Scouts serve as significant forms of support for promoting the healthy development of children. We applaud the Girl Scouts of Colorado for extending their message of courage, confidence and character to all children who identify as girls."
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.