GLSEN Pittsburgh is creating safe schools across Southwest PA for all K-12 students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity!
Remember the excitement of the last day of school before summer vacation?
Remember the dread of “back to school” season?
For many LGBTQ students in Pennsylvania, that “back to school” dread is due to a lot more than early mornings, cafeteria food, and homework. Do you know that according to the 2011 National School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), a majority (61%) of LGBTQ students in Pennsylvania reported sexual harassment, while 42% reported deliberate damage or theft of personal property? Less than half (39%) even reported these abuses to a school authority, and only 36% of those felt their report resulted in effective intervention.
GLSEN Pittsburgh helps students in real, “on-the-ground” ways. Karina from Sto-Rox High School’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) reports:
“GLSEN Pittsburgh helped me a lot with developing a stronger GSA. Before GLSEN I had about 5 people in my school's GSA, after GLSEN Pittsburgh we have doubled our attendance. The experiences I had with GLSEN Pittsburgh taught me a lot about getting people involved and getting people to listen in creative ways…. GLSEN also helped me with my public speaking skills. I had a school board meeting about 4 months ago to explain what the GSA and GLSEN Pittsburgh are all about. Vanessa Davis, GLSEN Pittsburgh Chapter Director, actually accompanied me to the meeting. We explained to them what events we worked on all year round, and by the end of the meeting everyone bought one of the GSA bracelets.”
This year began our first year of the SWPA GSA Initiative aimed at educating, supporting, and networking Gay-Straight Alliances in the 11 counties of Southwest PA.
We will end out the year with two PRIDE Events: the Youth Pride Prom on June 7th at the Andy Warhol Museum and a GSA contigent in this year's Pittsburgh Pride Awareness March.
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