Thursday, October 21, 2010

2009 National School Climate Survey

There has been some controversy regarding GLSEN’s Safe School Act. The Safe Schools Act requires that schools specify LGBT youth in their anti-bullying policies and curriculum. Many school acts do not include a lot of detail. This is because not all school have the same strengths and weaknesses. (Although the act doesn’t explain this part well, it would encourage some school to add extensive LGBT topics to the curriculum.)

Some parents are worried that their children will be forced to learn that a homosexual lifestyle is acceptable. Parents who do not agree with this may not want their children to be forced to learn the material. The other side of this act is that the bullying of LGBT youth needs to stop. The act itself isn’t that threatening, but some of the programs can be. Regardless of which side I agree with, I do see valid points for both issues.

2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School is in support of GLSEN’s Safe Schools Act. This article gives statistics and a brief explanation of why various aspects of this act do help schools. The percent of LGBT students who are bullied is over 80%. When the school has a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) as a student organization many of the homophobic remarks and victimization of these students is decreased.

In response to the article, it seems clear that there should be at very least some sort of GSA or other organization that is specific to the needs of the LGBT population. I do understand the parents concern; I also believe that it should be the parents’ responsibility to guide their children and explain their beliefs and origins for them. Kids learn many ideas that many parents don’t want their children learning. It is also the responsibility of the parents to teach their kids to be respectful of all children at school. If the act were implemented, parents should be able to explain to their children that bullying is wrong and that aspect of their school lesson was good but also explain their views on homosexuality if it differs wit that of the school.

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