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GLSEN Condemns White Supremacist Rally
GLSEN CONDEMNS WHITE SUPREMACIST RALLY; CALLS ON EDUCATORS AND SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT STUDENTS BY MAKING THEIR VALUES KNOWN
(New York, NY) – August 14, 2017 – GLSEN released the following statement condemning the white supremacist rally and violence on anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and encouraging educators and school administrators to support students of color, and all students, by making their school values known:
We are heartbroken and horrified by this weekend’s rally of white supremacist groups who shouted racist, antisemitic, and anti-LGBTQ chants, displayed Nazi and KKK flags and symbols, and violently attacked anti-racist counter protesters.
With schools in Virginia and across the country returning to classes over the coming weeks, it is imperative that educators and school administrators plan how their schools will support students of color and do the work to ensure we dismantle racism and white supremacy at all levels of education. Racism and white supremacy have no place in our communities, and the work to end it begins in our nation’s K-12 schools. Ignoring this reality is not an option.
GLSEN research shows that one-half of teachers in elementary schools (47%) and secondary schools (51%) in the United States believe that bullying, name‐calling, and harassment are very or somewhat serious problems in their schools. And students who are bullied regularly at school report lower grades and a lower quality of life than other students.
As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure all students, regardless of color or gender, sexuality or religion, have safe and inclusive schools where students can focus on fulfilling their academic potential instead of survival.
As schools return to class, we must prepare to ensure our classrooms are safe spaces for learning. We must educate and discuss with students how racial inequities harm students of color. And we must ensure every student knows they are valued and respected.
GLSEN joined eight national education partners in issuing a national call to action affirming the right of all students to attend school in an environment free from fear, violence, and intimidation, including those who are black, brown, undocumented, LGBTQ, Muslim, and/or living with disabilities. This call remains as urgent today as it did in November.
Educators are encouraged to view GLSEN’s resource on how to create a School Values Statement available for free download at glsen.org/schoolvalues.
The eight education organizations that joined GLSEN in this call to action include AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American School Counselor Association (ASCA), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National School Boards Association (NSBA), National PTA.
GLSEN champions safe and inclusive schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.