GLSEN Statement on Resignation of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

GLSEN on Secretary Duncan Resignation

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GLSEN Statement on Resignation of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

NEW YORK (October 2, 2015) – GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued a statement in response to the announcement that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be stepping down in December. President Obama has selected Deputy Secretary John King, who was previously Commissioner of Education for New York State, to replace Secretary Duncan.

“Secretary of Education Arne Duncan welcomed a GLSEN delegation to his office in the earliest days of his tenure, and sought out numerous opportunities to hear from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students directly about the realities of their lives and the steps he could take to help make a difference. Secretary Duncan always demonstrated a deep personal concern for the well-being of these marginalized students, and, during the seven years of his tenure, the U.S. Department of Education has done more to create positive school climates for LGBT students than at any previous time in our history.

“We thank Secretary Duncan for his leadership in improving the lives and educational outcomes of all students, including LGBT youth, and for focusing on issues like bullying, harassment and discrimination that disproportionately impact LGBT students. By hosting annual Bullying Prevention Summits, endorsing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Nondiscrimination Act and issuing guidance to schools on the rights and community benefits of Gay-Straight Alliances and on Title IX protections for students on the basis of gender identity and expression, he has truly made a difference for LGBT youth.

“We look forward to working with Deputy Secretary John King, who as New York State Commissioner of Education led implementation of the groundbreaking Dignity for All Students Act. Much remains to be done, and we must continue to build on this impressive progress by the Obama administration to ensure that every school is safe and affirming for all students.”



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