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Cyndi Lauper

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Elton John

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Judith Light

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Schools: Give A

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Nate Berkus

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Would You Let This Happen to Someone You Love?

Hatred. Derision. Insults. Threats. Harassment. Assault.

What if a kid you loved or a friend of yours had to face this every day at school? What would you do?

Imagine sending your child off to school everyday, knowing once they’re there, they’ll be called names, get threatened and shoved, even kicked or punched.

Imagine if you had a friend who felt so unsafe at school that they started skipping class.

Imagine if your brother or sister, or your nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter told their teachers about the bullying—and their teachers didn’t do a damn thing about it.

What would you do? Would you give a damn?

Because this is what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have to endure at school, every single day. Over 90% of gay and transgender youth have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted in the past year, compared to 62% of their straight classmates. Nearly 3 out of 4 gay and transgender students are frequently called derogatory names, like“faggot” or “dyke” at school. And over a third of students who reported an incident of bullying said that school staff did nothing in response.

Bullying is a big deal

Maybe you think this is no big deal—just kids being kids. But when 3 out of 5 gay and transgender kids feel unsafe at school, and 2 in 3 have skipped a day of school in the past month because of it, it’s a big deal.

When over half of gay and transgender students report hearing homophobic remarks—from school staff—it’s a big deal.

When 95% of secondary school principals report that students at their schools have been harassed because of their gender expression—and nearly one-third of principals acknowledge their staff are poor at dealing effectively with homophobic bullying, it’s a big deal.

And when only 19 states and the District of Columbia have safe school laws in place that include protections based on sexual orientation, it’s a big deal.

In fact, it’s something to give a damn about. Because ask yourself: Would you allow any of this to happen to someone you love? Or would you give a damn?

It’s well past time to give a damn about the safety of gay and transgender youth in our schools.

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Spread the word. Encourage the people in your life to get involved—especially if they’re straight and have never given this issue a lot of thought. Simply:

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Visit our nonprofit partner’s website; they’re experts on Youth | Schools. They can provide you a ton of additional resources and ways to get involved:

The information on this page was provided by:

  • GLSEN: “From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America”
  • GLSEN: “2009 National School Climate Survey”
  • GLSEN: “The Principal’s Perspective: School Safety, Bullying and Harassment”
  • GLSEN: “2011 National School Climate Survey”

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  • Taking My Time…

    My name's Cameron and I'm 15 years old... turning 16 soon! I came out as bisexual to my family and friends last year, after I'd ...

    Author: Cameron
  • This is My Story. For H.

    To be honest, I'm not really sure what makes me give this much of a damn. I am all for equality! But I have never had something so ...

    Author: Rosie
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