Award Will Help Program Reach 14,500 School Personnel and 4 Million
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) announced today an annually renewable grant from the Department of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase the percentage of schools that identify and maintain "safe spaces" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. During the five-year project, GLSEN will partner with 20 targeted school districts across the country, including the 16 DASH-funded districts, to implement a comprehensive evidence-based program to help keep LBGT students safe and healthy.
The CDC's grant will allow GLSEN to partner with each district to establish sustainable safe space infrastructure by creating internal Implementation Teams, delivering multi-day Train the Trainer (TOT) programs based on GLSEN's Safe Space Kit, providing guidance, information and resources to assist in effecting policy enhancements, and increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders within and across states and school districts.
"It is abundantly clear that LGBT youths' experience of bias and violence at school contributes to significant threats to their health, academic success and psychological well-being," said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. "The CDC is taking a critical step to ensure safe and healthy schools for LGBT youth and a stronger foundation for their future by supporting the creation of truly safe spaces where they can receive support from administrators, teachers or other school staff. Such spaces are vital to these students' health, success in school and life prospects."
Among the many aspects of this program is a facilitated district self-study of local- and state-level anti-harassment and LGBT health promotion policies and the development of a network of educational and community-based organizations equipped and trained to support the health and well-being of LGBT students. By the close of the five-year plan, which was funded at the maximum $285,000 annually, GLSEN programs will have reached 14,500 school personnel and 4 million students.
A comprehensive program monitoring and evaluation process will develop project logic modeling, collect data on program output, training process and outcome evaluation, and assess impact on youth risk behavior and experience of school climate, culminating in two reports of findings at the conclusion of the grant.
The grant is the latest example of federal government partnership with GLSEN to improve school climate and culture. GLSEN's work with the federal government dates back to a meeting with President Clinton in the late 1990s, and continued under President Bush as GLSEN contributed to the development and launch of the "Stop Bullying Now" campaign at the Department of Health and Human Services in 2004. GLSEN has worked closely with a number of other agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, whose Office of Civil Rights is a partner in its Claim Your Rights campaign.
"We are proud to contribute to federal efforts to support safe, healthy and respectful learning environments for all students," Byard said. "This grant is an exciting new element of GLSEN's long-standing partnership with federal agencies in the common project of improving U.S. schools."
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.