In an article by the The Hollywood Reporter, film director Brett Ratner announced that he was stepping down from producing the 84th Academy Awards after coming under fire for using anti-gay slurs in a recent screening of "Tower Heist."
Ratner was participating a Q&A session for his upcoming film when he responded to a question about rehearsals from an audience member saying, "Rehearsal? What's that? Rehearsal's for fags."
GLSEN intimately knows the damaging effects of anti-gay slurs and they can often be heard in school hallways, cafeterias, cafeterias or the locker room.
According to the 2009 GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 72.4% of students reported they heard homophobic remarks like "dyke" or "faggot" frequently or often at school.
The 2009 survey of 7,261 middle and high school students also found that at school nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation.
Ratner's homophobic comment quickly gained widespread attention causing a flurry of criticism and resulting in Ratner's resignation as producer of the Academy Awards.
The film director wrote in a public statement:
So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted. With this in mind, and to all those who understandably feel that apologies are not enough, please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.
Brett Ratner called Tom Sherak, the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce his resignation from the awards show.
In response, Sherak said in a brief statement:
"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself. Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."
This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior.
Have you heard any anti-LGBT remarks or experienced harassment because of your sexual orientation or gender identity? Let us know!
>Have you and all your friends registered? Whether you're going to be silent all day or just at lunch hour register your DOS observance at our sister site: StudentOrganizing.org.
Why register? Every person who registers with GLSEN's Student Organizing site shows that they are committed to safe schools. That number is an important way to demonstrate the great impact that the Day of Silence has in schools and communities across the country. It only takes a few moments to sign up and be counted and your registration can make a big difference.
As of today the Day of Silence will be observed in nearly 4000 schools April 17th. But we're still two weeks away. Let's get that number a whole lot higher.
Remember: Don’t just participate, REGISTER!
"Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?” Saad, a 2010-2011 GLSEN Student Ambassador, shares how silence on the Day of Silence is used as a powerful tool for direct action and social change:
Are you participating? Make sure you’re registered so that we can support you and your school. Register today and join the movement!
When the lights came back on after GLSEN's screening of How to Survive a Plague last month, everyone in the room knew they'd seen a special film. We weren't the only ones impressed, apparently, as the movie received an Oscar nomination today for Best Documentary. How to Survive a Plague is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, and I couldn't be more excited to see it receive national recognition. The film follows two coalitions, ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), through the HIV/AIDS crisis during the late '80s and early '90s. The groups used political activism and civil disobedience to help shift AIDS from a near-certain death sentence to a manageable, but still serious, disease. Eliza Byard, our executive director, noted the connection between the atmosphere of the era and the birth of GLSEN: "My mother attended a founding meeting for GLSEN's New York City chapter at the time," she said, "walking through one of the very ACT UP meetings depicted in the film to a boiler room off the back where Kevin Jennings was greeting volunteers." How to Survive a Plague will compete with 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, The Invisible War, and Searching for Sugar Man for the award. If you're interested in other documentaries about the HIV/AIDS crisis, check out We Were Here, which focuses on San Francisco, and 30 Years From Here, which reflects on three decades of HIV/AIDS in the US. Congratulations again to the director/producer David France and everyone else connected with the film!
Creative Expression is an opportunity for you to show us how your school is celebrating No Name-Calling Week and creating a culture of no name-calling. We want to see your school wide displays featuring the message of No Name-Calling Week. This year’s deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013. Any kind of display can be created and a picture or video of the display will be submitted for judging. Show us your assemblies, the posters you created at school, lessons being conducted in classrooms, or anything that can show us what you are doing in your community. The winning school will receive a No Name-Calling Week Prize pack including a Simon and Schuster Children's Library, and a Stop Bullying Speak Up prize kit from the Cartoon Network. For more information about Creative Expressions or to enter your submission click here Have a great No Name-Calling Week!
No Name-Calling Week is rapidly approaching! No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities. Here are some ways you can celebrate!
- Conduct a school wide Name-Calling survey.
- Review the No Name-Calling Week Planning Guide
- Use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word #wordscanhurt
- Conduct NNCW lessons
- Read excerpts from “The Misfits” by James Howe and hold a group discussion.
- Develop a classroom no name-calling policy
- Create a school wide display and enter it into our Creative Expressions Contest.
- Show GLSEN’s Think B4 You Speak PSA and hold a discussion about the phrase “That’s So Gay”
- Discuss sportsmanship in physical education classes with the Changing the Game resources.
- Wear a No Name-Calling Week Sticker.
- Hold an school wide assembly on name-calling and bullying
- Dedicate a class to an art themed anti-bullying lesson plan
- Hold an essay contest "How Name Calling Makes Me Feel."
- Display No Name-Calling Week Posters in all classrooms and around building.
- Send home our Tip Sheet for Parents.
We would love to hear what you have planned; click here to let us know what you are doing to celebrate No Name-Calling Week.
GLSEN is proud to collaborate with The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As part of the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, HRSA and eight other federal agencies are working to raise awareness for bullying prevention while supporting No Name Calling Week. Through initiatives like No Name Calling Week, we can connect local leaders to the resources they need to get active and prevent bullying in their community. Whether you work in the classroom or the clinic, everyone plays a role in bullying prevention and HRSA has developed free training resources that go beyond the school environment to help you organize a community event or town hall, including:
- Base Training Module with Speaker Notes: a presentation with suggested talking points, including the latest research to help participants create an action plan for a community event
- Community Action Toolkit: a supplemental guide, including tip sheets, a template event agenda, action planning matrix and feedback forms
No Name Calling Week is about more than simply building awareness — it’s about taking action to prevent bullying in your neighborhood and community. Whether you’ve been active for years or just started yesterday, take action by learning about and organizing bullying prevention and response efforts in your community. Download the Training Modules at: http://www.stopbullying.gov/communityguide
Only 3 days until No Name Calling Week! Check out Let’s Get Real, a short film produced by GLSEN’s long-time organizational partner, GroundSpark. Let’s Get Real doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or feature adults lecturing kids about what to do when kids pick on them. Instead, it examines a variety of issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. The film not only gives a voice to targeted kids, but also to kids who do the bullying to find out why they lash out at their peers and how it makes them feel. The most heartening part of Let’s Get Real includes stories of youth who have mustered the courage to stand up for themselves or a classmate. At GLSEN, we recommend this excellent short film to use with your students in grades 5 – 9. Let’s Get Real is widely hailed as one of the best tools for opening up meaningful, life-changing dialogue in schools today. As a special offer for No Name Calling Week, GroundSpark is providing free streaming of Let’s Get Real the entire week. To order your copy of the DVD and guide and to take advantage of the 50% No Name Calling Week promotional discount, please visit our distributor, New Day Films and use promotional discount code XDVF5M.
Today marks the start of GLSEN’s 10th No Name-Calling Week, a national program of educational activities designed to help eradicate name-calling and bullying of all kinds in schools. Over 60 nationally-known education, health and social justice organizations have come together to recognize the need for this type of work in our nation's schools. Included in that group are the National Education Association, the American School Counselors Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Association for Middle Level Education. In collaboration with our partners, GLSEN has developed a planning guide, lesson plans, promotional materials such as stickers and posters, and a website at www.nonamecallingweek.org. The No Name-Calling Week listserv now has over 17,500 registrants, who run the gamut from teachers to students, guidance counselors to school administrators, librarians to youth workers. Register this year to help us to keep an accurate count of how many participants there are each year. As we go through the week, we would love to hear your stories of success, drop us a note and tell us how No Name-Calling Week is going in your community.