WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is proud to announce that four of GLSEN's student leaders met today with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The meeting, part of a Student Voices Discussion series organized by the U.S. Department of Education, provided the youth with the opportunity to speak directly with the Secretary about issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in the nation's K-12 public school system. In the meeting, GLSEN's student advocates commended the Department for their work to date and called for further action to address these issues.
The meeting with Secretary Duncan was held just over a month after the White House announced its support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act in conjunction with GLSEN's Day of Silence. These two pieces of legislation are essential to creating safe, equitable schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The students in the meeting with Secretary Duncan were:
Liam A. - a participant in GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit 2012, where he learned about how to advocate for safe schools policy and met with his Congressional representatives. Liam serves as his high school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) co-president.
Rohan M. - a GLSEN student ambassador who has worked with his high school's GSA and local GLSEN chapter to organize anti-bullying workshops at middle and high schools in the area. Rohan has also testified before his county commission on an initiative that would protect transgender and gender non-conforming people from discrimination.
Tiffani S. - a participant in GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit 2012, where she learned about how to advocate for safe schools policy and met with her Congressional representatives. Tiffani serves as her high school's GSA president and cofounded her school's humanitarian club.
Cady W. - a student coordinator for GLSEN's Jump-Start Student Leadership Team, Cady is heavily involved in fine arts at her school. She will graduate summa cum laude this year and will attend Virginia Commonwealth University this fall.