Lambda and GLSEN Team Up to Create a New Publication for LGBT Youth

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Publication helps activists protect students from violence and harassment in schools
January 15, 2002

(NEW YORK, January 15, 2002) — Two organizations that have long battled bias in the nation’s schools announced today that they have joined forces to create a guide for concerned community members who, in ever increasing numbers, support legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students from violence and discrimination. The publication was published in time for the 2002 state legislative sessions, which promise high profile battles over student protections in states like Florida, New York, and Washington.

Attorneys from Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund collaborated with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to produce the publication entitled A Guide to Effective Statewide Laws/Policies: Preventing Discrimination Against LGBT Students in K-12 Schools.

“This joint effort is groundbreaking because advocates have for the first time a comprehensive how-to manual for creating change that applies to an entire state,” said David Buckel, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, the organization that brought the first lawsuit to successfully establish liability for a school that fails to stop anti-gay violence. “The guide allows for an exponential increase in the impact of grassroots work by focusing on state-wide laws and policies that stop abuse before it happens, so lawsuits are not necessary.”

“Everyday in America, millions of LGBT youth go to school without basic protection from discrimination and harassment,” said MK Cullen, Director of Public Policy at GLSEN. “By melding Lambda’s legal expertise with GLSEN’s grassroots know-how, we’ve created a useful new tool to help create safer school days for students nationwide.”

The nuts-and-bolts guide includes:

  • a lay-out of the different types of laws and policies that can be changed;
  • samples of good existing laws and policies;
  • arguments to anticipate and effectively address;
  • a map of the pertinent decision-makers in statewide education to approach;
  • the political considerations for different approaches; and
  • a host of other tips and strategies and do’s and don’ts.

In 2001, GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey showed that over two thirds of LGBT students felt unsafe in school, and as a result roughly one third had stayed home from school at least one day in the previous month.

Contact: Jennifer Grissom 212-809-8585 x 231, 888-987-1976
David Buckel 212-809-8585 x 212
Chadwick Bovée 212-727-0135 x 105, 888-454-1446


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