Education Secretary Pledges to Make Schools Safe for All

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
recently met
with members of GLSEN about safe schools issues
nationwide. The meeting, the first ever between a secretary of
education and LGBT advocates, was a big step forward. Secretary
Duncan pledged to make all schools safe for students regardless of
their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender

Last year, GLSEN,
Family Equality Council
and COLAGE issued a report
“Involved, Invisible, Ignored: the Experiences of LGBT Parents
and Their Children in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools.”
unprecedented, national report highlights the many harassment and
discrimination issues facing LGBT families in K-12 public schools.
According to the report, 40% of children of LGBT parents are
verbally harassed at school.

We’ve utilized this report and other GLSEN research to build our
case for including protections for LGBT families in safe schools
laws nationwide. In particular, we’ve used this groundbreaking
research to develop with OutFront Minnesota the
“Minnesota Safe Schools for All Bill,” currently being
considered in the Minnesota Legislature. (Click
for a one-sheet on the bill.)

The bill received its first committee vote this Tuesday, March
24th. The Senate Education Committee passed the bill out of
committee—a major, positive step forward. Now we work to get the
bill heard in the House and voted on in the Senate. We’ll keep
you updated—stay tuned for more!