Coinciding release of 2005 National School Climate Survey and national ad give voice to the truth about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in Americaís schools
New York, NY - April 26, 2006 - GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, today kicks-off the 10th national Day of Silenceģ, among the largest student-led actions in American history. An estimated 500,000 students at 4,000 schools nationwide are participating in GLSENís Day of Silence to peacefully bring attention to the pervasive problem of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) bullying and harassment in schools.
"Today hundreds of thousands of students are taking action and responding to the problem of anti-LGBT bullying and harassmentóa problem they see in their hallways and classrooms every day," said GLSENís Founder and Executive Director Kevin Jennings. "I commend each and every young person today as they tell their truths to their classmates and communities."
GLSEN also today released the findings of its 2005 National School Climate Survey, the only national survey documenting the experiences of LGBT youth in Americaís schools, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Results from this fourth biennial report show the truth: that anti-LGBT bullying and harassment continue to be commonplace in our nationís schools. The results also indicate that student clubs like Gay-Straight Alliances, supportive teachers and faculty and comprehensive anti-bullying policies directly relate to safer schools. For more information about the GLSENís 2005 National School Climate Survey, visit www.glsen.org.
"I am taking part in GLSENís national Day of Silence because I have seen and experienced the impact of anti-LGBT harassment on my friends and me," said Jessie Liberatore, GLSEN Jump-Start leader and student organizer. "Today, in coordination with hundreds of thousands of students around the country, I am letting my school community know that anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and violence must end."
In addition to observances throughout the day on school campuses across the country, dozens of "Breaking the Silence" community rallies and events are planned to take place at the end of the school day and during the week. Students, parents, teachers and community members come together at the dayís end to share their experiences with guest speakers and members of their local communities. To find out if there is a "Breaking the Silence" event near you, please visit www.dayofsilence.org.
In celebration of GLSENís 10th national Day of Silence, a full-page ad featuring a GLSEN student leader appears today in the Washington Post asking parents, community members and policymakers to "lend their voice to the silence".
About the Day of Silence
The Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools by participating in activities to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment Ė in effect the silencing Ė experienced by LGBT students and their allies. Across the country last year an estimated 450,000 students in over 3,000 K-12 schools and over 600 colleges took part in the Day of Silence.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSENís educational resources, public policy agenda, research, student organizing programs or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.