GLSEN Safe Space Kits Provided to Every Middle/High School..
Public Relations Manager
Mar 28, 2013
NEW YORK - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and its Phoenix and Tucson chapters today announced that every middle and high school in the state of Arizona received a GLSEN Safe Space Kit as part of GLSEN's Safe Space Campaign to place a kit in every middle and high school in the country.
The kit is a tool for educators to build support for vulnerable students and reduce anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) name-calling, bullying and harassment in their school.
"GLSEN Phoenix has worked tirelessly to make school and district-wide trainings available to teachers, administrators, school counselors, psychologists and social workers - all potential allies for LGBT youth in schools," said Madelaine Adelman, GLSEN's Phoenix Co-chair. "This fall, GLSEN Phoenix launched a local initiative as part of GLSEN's Safe Space Campaign to deliver professional development training and Safe Space Kits to our educator network. Our district-wide trainings and work with our partners have resulted in an increased local awareness of the Safe Space Kit and what it takes to create healthy learning environments for all students."
"GLSEN Tucson will be focusing on providing professional development training to educators during the 2013-2014 school year and our certified trainers will be working with local school personnel to coordinate this crucial work," said Brenda Kazen, GLSEN's Tucson Co-chair. "GLSEN Tucson will continue its advocacy for safer schools by working with school faculty and staff to determine what the most prevalent needs are in Tucson's schools and how we can use the Safe Space kit to address them. Knowing that every school has a Safe Space Kit makes the collaboration much easier."
GLSEN's Safe Space Kit is a collection of resources for educators to help them create a positive learning environment for LGBT students. The kit contains a guide that provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, including how to educate about anti-LGBT bias. It also comes with Safe Space stickers and posters to help students identify supportive educators.
"Our goal is to distribute a Safe Space Kit to every middle and high school in the United States by the end of 2013," said Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director. "Every student deserves a safe space in school, and we thank our supporters, Arizona educators and our Phoenix and Tucson chapters for their support in making that dream closer to a reality in Arizona."
To date, GLSEN has covered the District of Columbia and 31 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming, Utah and Vermont.
Research demonstrates that LGBT students who can identify supportive adults in their school are less likely to feel unsafe at school, are more likely to plan to graduate and go on to college, and are more likely to feel connected to the school community.
Unfortunately, many LGBT students in Arizona do not feel safe in school. Nine in 10 LGBT students (90%) experience harassment in school because of their sexual orientation; 44% report being physically harassed; and 19% report being physically assaulted in the past year. To learn more about the experiences of Arizona's LGBT students, please visit the GLSEN 2011 Arizona State Snapshot for additional findings.
ABOUT THE GLSEN SAFE SPACE KIT
The GLSEN Safe Space Kit provides a program for action that school staff can take to create a positive learning environment for every child. Each kit contains 10 Safe Space Stickers, two posters and a 42-page Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students that gives concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, including how to educate about anti-LGBT bias and teaching respect for all. To order or donate a GLSEN Safe Space Kit and for more information visit safespacekit.com.
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.