- DECEMBER 12, 2012 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today lauded the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights for holding a hearing on ending the school to prison pipeline. GLSEN submitted a statement to the Subcommittee commending the Senate for its action and reminding Senators the LGBT youth may also face excessive punishments in the school discipline and criminal justice systems.
Read GLSEN's full statement submitted today to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
"GLSEN thanks Senator Durbin for holding today's critically important hearing as we remain concerned about excessive discipline targeting youth of color," said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "We are also deeply concerned that LGBT youth, especially LGBT youth of color, may themselves be subject to excessive disciplinary practices. We believe the inequities faced by LGBT youth in disciplinary systems should be included in any conversation around the school to prison pipeline."
"We hope this effort will be the beginning of ongoing engagement with Congress around this important issue," said Shawn Gaylord, Esq., GLSEN's Director of Public Policy. "We are pleased with today's hearing, but much more research is needed on the affects of LGBT youth as well as solutions to this systemic problem."
Ten other leading LGBT organizations signed on to GLSEN's statement. Those organizations were: Family Equality Council, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Human Rights Campaign, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, PFLAG National, The Trevor Project, and SMYAL.
GLSEN will continue to partner with members of congress on safe schools issues pertaining to LGBT youth. GLSEN's Office of Public Policy works with elected officials and other policy makers at the local, state and federal level to ensure that the best and most inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented.
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.