Park City High GSA Named GSA of the Year
GSA to Be Honored at GLSEN Respect Awards – New York on May 19
Digital Communications Assistant
NEW YORK, April 29, 2014—GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, today announced the Park City High Gay-Straight Alliance will receive the 2014 GLSEN GSA of the Year award at GLSEN’s Respect Awards – New York on May 19.
The GLSEN GSA of the Year award honors a student club that has demonstrated extraordinary leadership to ensure that all students in their school community feel safe and treated with respect regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
“We are proud to recognize the Park City High Gay-Straight Alliance for its impassioned work to improve the educational experience of LGBT students throughout Utah,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “Through their tireless efforts to support, connect with and advocate for LGBT students statewide, Park City GSA students have demonstrated they are more than deserving of this honor.”
The Park City High Gay-Straight Alliance, from Park City High School in Park City, Utah, is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for all students in Utah schools by working to eradicate anti-LGBT laws, hosting community events with prominent LGBT figures, partnering with nearby LGBT organizations, and engaging local newspapers on safe schools issues. The club is highly active on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, using social media to connect with as many LGBT students in Utah as possible.
“It's not always easy in Utah, but through the community we all have in the GSA, it's fostered a belief that it doesn't only 'get better' [for LGBT youth], but rather it can get awesome,” said Park City student Cozy Huggins. “We feel as if the change will start in conservative states like Utah, and through stressing acceptance and tolerance in the state, both in rural areas and in the city, we hope to start to turn the tide.” GSAs are student-led clubs that help to ensure middle and high schools offer a safe and affirming environment for all students. GSAs offer a series of benefits for LGBT students and their allies. GLSEN research has found:
- GSAs have shown tremendous value in providing safe spaces and critical support for LGBT students. Students in schools with GSAs are less likely to hear homophobic remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" in school on a daily basis than students without a GSA (57% compared to 75%).
- LGBT students in schools with GSAs are less likely to miss school because they feel unsafe compared to other students: a quarter (26%) of students in schools with GSAs missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe compared to a third (32%) of students at schools without GSAs.
- Students in schools with a GSA are more likely to report that school faculty, staff and administrators are supportive of lesbian, gay and bisexual students (52% compared to 32%).
The Respect Awards, held annually in New York and Los Angeles, showcase the work of corporations, individuals, students and educators who have made outstanding contributions as leaders in our safe schools movement, and who serve as exemplary role models to our nation's youth.
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.