Letter to the Editor: Why GLSEN CNJ's Work Matters

THE WEST WINDSOR AND PLAINSBORO NEWS RECENTLY PRINTED A LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN WHICH THE AUTHORS FELT THAT THE WORK OF ORGANIZATION SUCH AS GLSEN AND OTHERS THAT ARE WORKING TO CHANGE THE CULTURE OF BULLYING IN THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE STOPPED.

January 29, 2013

Editor West Windsor and Plainsboro News 12 Roszel Road, C205 Princeton, NJ 08540

 

Dear Editor: You have recently published a letter from the Milazzos, who objected to the use of West Windsor‐Plainsboro High School South as a location for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Forum on November 17, 2012 Research shows that one of the most common forms of bullying is based on sexual orientation. Eight out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students experience harassment at school, according to GLSEN%92s National School Climate Survey. LGBT students also report missing school, poorer academic performance, lowered educational aspirations and poorer psychological well‐being when they feel unsafe in school.

But we also know that GSAs are proven to offer valuable support to LGBT students and their allies who believe schools should be safe for all regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, students report the presence of a GSA in school can reduce incidents of harassment and contribute to a more welcoming school environment. In a safer environment like this, school absence is decreased and academic performance is increased for LGBT students.

In New Jersey, we are enriched by a wealth of differences, and our appreciation and respect for each other can be found in our communities. GSAs are tremendous assets to our schools for emphasizing these very values that any student - gay or straight - would greatly benefit from.

Sincerely, Carol Watchler, Co‐chair GLSEN Central New Jersey

GLSEN, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

GLSEN Central New Jersey, P.O. Box 261, Hightstown, NJ 08520 609‐448‐8243, www.glsen.org/centralnj, cnj@njglsen.org

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