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Participation in White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools


Andy Marra

Public Relations Manager



Mar 20, 2012

GLSEN Staff, Students, Chapter Reps Present on LGBT Issues in Education

NEW YORK - March 20, 2012 - Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) staff, chapters and students are participating in today's White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities held at the University of Texas at Arlington. The conference was co-organized in partnership with the Departments of Justice and Education.

"Today's conference reflects another sign of the positive shift in Washington about the importance of addressing issues related to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in our schools," said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "We are delighted that GLSEN staff and our chapters from Dallas and Houston have played an integral role in today%92s conference focused on safe schools. We look forward to continue working alongside our federal partners at the Departments of Justice and Education on making sure that every student is guaranteed the right to a safe and respectful learning environment regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."

In addition to GLSEN's national staff, GLSEN's Dallas and Houston chapter leaders and student organizers have been actively involved in the organizing of the conference. Both GLSEN chapters in Texas will also be presenting at the White House conference.

  • Participation on the conference opening panel include GLSEN's Senior Director of Research & Special Initiatives Dr. Joseph Kosciw; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Michael Yudin and; Torey Cummings, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.
  • GLSEN Dallas and Houston chapter leaders and students are presenting three workshops in the afternoon portion of the conference on issues including violence against transgender and gender non conforming people; bullying prevention and intervention; and issues facing LGBT youth of color.
  • GLSEN Student Ambassador Tempest Cartwright will introduce conference closing speaker Judy Shepard of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
  • GLSEN Safe Space Kit spokesperson and Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns is a featured speaker at the conference.

According to GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey, nearly 85% of students were harassed in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation and more than 63% of students experienced harassment because of their gender expression. To read more findings from the GLSEN 2009 National School Climate Survey, please click here.



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