Re: school climate

Jessica Haney (
Wed, 24 Dec 1997 10:28:00 -0800

It might be useful to contact GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education
Network. They have chapters around the country and are online at:

Good luck,
Jessica Haney

At 02:34 PM 12/20/97 -0500, you wrote:
>To the edequity group:
>It has recently come to my attention that the climate at our town's
>supposedly tolerant, enlightened high school is not what I thought it was. I
>have heard that the word "gay" is routinely used as a put-down; that girls
>are referred to, both in general and as individuals, as "bitches," sluts,"
>and "whores;" that a lesbian teacher is frequently taunted about her sexual
>orientation by students; and that several boys talked openly in one class
>about getting all the gays together and burning them. From what I've heard,
>while some staff members deal with such behavior swiftly and in no uncertain
>terms, others are silent or pretend not to notice.
>I think this is more common than anyone thinks or wants to acknowledge, and
>that it is incumbent on the school administration to establish expectations
>and protocols that will enable and require the adults in the school to deal
>immediately and directly with such behavior, rather than looking the other
> create a school climate in which all students feel safe from
>persecution and denigration, and in which those who would persecute get the
>message that this will not be tolerated.
>Does anyone out there have any concrete, specific examples of how schools
>have dealt positively and successfully with such issues? I am most interested
>in approaches that have proven useful *before* such incidents escalate to the
>point where the legal system, the media, etc. enter the scene.
>Hoping to hear from folks out there (particularly high school students), and
>wishing for a better world in the New Year--
>Kathy Cochran

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