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Safe Space Kit Released in Chile

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Kari Hudnell
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GLSEN Partners with Todo Mejora Foundation to Release Safe Space Kit in Chile

Educational resource aimed at teachers and administrators to reduce bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students part of GLSEN’s international work

NEW YORK (May 28, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, has teamed up with long-time partner, Todo Mejora Foundation in Chile, to adapt one of its most important educational resources into Spanish for educators in Latin America.

The Safe Space Kit provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students in Latin American schools, including how to educate about anti-LGBT bias and teaching respect for all. GLSEN has distributed its original English-language version to every middle and high school in the United States.

This need exists in Latin America as well, as evidenced by the high rates of school violence and discrimination in Chile and most of the region. According to a 2011 UNICEF study titled The Voice of Children and Adolescents, 42 percent of students feel discriminated against in their schools, a statistic that goes up to 49 percent in public schools. In addition, according to international studies, LGBT students are twice as vulnerable to being verbally and physically harassed as non-LGBT youth.

“GLSEN is thrilled to be of service to this growing global movement,” said Dr. Joe Kosciw, GLSEN’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer. “We regularly put our years of experience to use in response to requests from representatives of LGBT communities around the world. This is a shining example of a collaborative effort between GLSEN and an organization focused on bettering the lives of LGBT youth elsewhere in the world.”

“Todo Mejora receives weekly calls from schools needing help with how to address homophobic and other types of bullying. The Safe Space Kit will be central to the capacity building and guidance the foundation provides to school officials to prevent youth suicide and bullying,” says Julio Dantas, founder and president of the Todo Mejora Foundation. “Todo Mejora is deeply thankful to GLSEN for its support from our inception. LGBT youth in Chile and Latin America who suffer discrimination need help now. That’s why we want to continue to be a cultural bridge and ensure children in Chile benefit from GLSEN’s 25 years of experience, today.”

Today’s release of the Safe Space Kit in Chile is another example of GLSEN’s international partnerships and position as a strategic resource for organizations and countries across the world. The organization has a long history of consulting with partners, educators, academics and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Currently, GLSEN partners with international organizations and NGOs in other countries to support our mission of creating safe and affirming schools for all students. This work includes partnering locally to conduct research and implement policies that best connect with specific international communities.

The Spanish-language Safe Space Kit, which was modified for a Chilean audience, is available for free on the Todo Mejora website, and offers practical tools that range from how to create an LGBT-inclusive curriculum to how to react to anti-LGBT remarks and follow up on cases of bullying. Todo Mejora Foundation will give printed copies of the kit to teachers in each workshop in Chilean schools. GLSEN is also working on a Spanish-language version of the Safe Space Kit for use in U.S. communities.

 

About GLSEN

GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, 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.

 

About Todo Mejora

The Todo Mejora Chile Foundation is a nongovernmental non-profit organization, based in Santiago de Chile, and affiliated with the international It Gets Better Project since 2012, which is a global network that seeks to improve the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.  Their work aims to help LGBT youth to vision a future where they will have a fulfilling life, on all aspects; Todo Mejora do this by disseminating educational material to improve the wellbeing of children and adolescents; by promoting a public debate on homophobic bullying and suicide, and by enacting strategies for prevention and intervention.

 

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