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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose this will hit tomorrow's papers as "news". Another investigative journalist coup.


Nation's Schools Leave Many Behind: PFLAG Study Finds Gay Students' Needs Largely Ignored

1/6/2005 10:54:00 AM


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To: National Desk, Education and Gay Issues Reporters

Contact: Taylor Thompson of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, 202-467-8180 ext. 213 or [email protected]

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) today publicly announced the results of the PFLAG National Schools Assessment launched in January 2004. Unlike other assessments that evaluate the school climate -- that is how safe or unsafe students feel -- the PFLAG assessment evaluated the education system's response to the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students by measuring the existence and implementation of policies to protect GLBT students and resources to support them.

While the assessment indicated a growing awareness of GLBT safe schools issues, results also showed critical deficiencies in support for GLBT youth. Some important findings include:

-- 95 percent of school counseling services had little or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources

-- 99 percent of school counseling services had little or no transgender resources

-- 70 percent had no training for educators/staff on how to stop GLBT bullying

-- 92 percent had no training for students on how to stop GLBT bullying

-- 84 percent had little or no resources for parents about GLBT issues

-- 59 percent did not include gay, lesbian or bisexual students in their harassment/non-discrimination policies

-- 75 percent did not include gender identity/expression in their harassment/non-discrimination policies

"Our findings help explain why so many people still hold on to damaging old fictions and profound misunderstandings about our GLBT family members and friends," said Ron Schlittler, PFLAG's executive director. "Misinformation goes unchallenged because accurate information is virtually banned in our schools."

"For the sake of all of our kids and our communities," Schlittler continued, "it is time to face up to this problem with honesty and compassion and address it through anti-harassment policies, accurate resources and training for staff and faulty. It is simply the right thing to do."

Schlittler also commended students for their promotion of safe schools. "There are encouraging signs. Nearly 39 percent of respondents reported the existence of support groups for gay and straight students that address the needs of GLBT students. PFLAG regularly receives requests for help from students trying to start Gay-Straight Alliances in their schools. Sadly, however, these students are often the only members of school communities pressing for avenues to acknowledge and address their needs. Parents, community members and professional educators need to take responsibility as well. PFLAG stands ready to help."

PFLAG's National Schools Assessment was developed by PFLAG's safe schools staff and researchers at the University of Maryland. The respondents came from 39 states. 65 percent of respondents were professional educators and 30 percent were students. Jason S. Zack, Ph.D., Behavioral Science Consultant and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Miami analyzed the assessment responses.

Of the study Dr. Zack stated, "The results of the 2004 Safe Schools Assessment provide a fascinating snapshot of the state of PFLAG Safe Schools policy implementation across the U.S. In responding to questions about their schools' demographics, policies, environment and their own demographic information, participants have helped to establish both a sense of what has been achieved thus far, and a road map for the work yet to come. The data collected in the present study offers a baseline for future PFLAG Safe Schools research."

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has over 250,000 members and supporters in more than 500 chapters throughout the United States.
 

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I find the thread title a bit misleading - very little of what they're identifying as needs require tax monies - for example, amending policies to include gays in harassment nondiscrimination policies doesn't require any tax money that I can think of.

Most of this stuff I think sounds reasonable, except that I don't know that there needs to be separate addressing of sexuality issues: For example, when they say that counseling services don't have gay resources, what does that mean? So long as school counselors are ready to take on problems the kids may seek from them in dealing with their nascent sexuality, I don't see that separate resources need be established. Are there separate resources for heterosexual students? I should think the focus should be on integration, not separation.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Every program has a cost that eventually shows up in personnel, training, travel, materials and so on.

Add up all the programs and a lot of bucks are going into non academic pursuits. Having put 2 through school and being fairly involved, I watched all these nice to do programs start, evolve and cost.
 

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Friend of MCMXI
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Now this is where I have a problem with this sort of stuff. While I don't condone gay bashing or any type of violent acts, I don't see the need to label things with the gay agenda.

Why do all these things below need to have a gay label. Why can't we just have programs to stop bullying, period! If 2 straight kids are bullying, stop it. If a straight kid is bullying a gay, stop it. If a gay kid is bullying a straight kid, stop it. They make it sound like that the only discrimination that needs to be dealt with is that against gays. You know there has been discrimination cases that didn't involve gays.
-- 95 percent of school counseling services had little or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources

-- 99 percent of school counseling services had little or no transgender resources

-- 70 percent had no training for educators/staff on how to stop GLBT bullying

-- 92 percent had no training for students on how to stop GLBT bullying

-- 84 percent had little or no resources for parents about GLBT issues

-- 59 percent did not include gay, lesbian or bisexual students in their harassment/non-discrimination policies

-- 75 percent did not include gender identity/expression in their harassment/non-discrimination policies
 

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Custer said:
Every program has a cost that eventually shows up in personnel, training, travel, materials and so on...
Agreed. That's why I questioned the rationale for separate resources. Consider the school counselor issue: What are they talking about when they speak of school counselors not having gay resources? All you need is a school counselor who's willing to discuss sexual issues with the kids - and I should think that any school counselor worth having would do that. There's no extra cost.

Now, if you wanted school counselors who specialized in gay issues, sure, that would cost more. That would also be dumb: School counselors, almost by definition, are generalists - i.e. they deal with a broad range of issues troubling the kids, not specializing in any one area.

When they say that "-- 95 percent of school counseling services had little or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources" what are they talking about? I've already explained why having specialists would be dumb. Are they instead saying that schools should have counseling staff who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual in order to help kids with those issues? Two problems with that:
1. Whether a counselor is gay, lesbian, or bisexual is the counselor's private business, not the school's, and it would be impossible to determine whether gay, lesbian, or bisexual counselors were available without mucking about in the counselor's private life.
2. There's no reason for counselors dealing with gay, lesbian, or bisexual issues to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual themselves; they need only be competent counselors.

Anyway, I don't think that cost is an issue with a lot of this stuff. But I also think that a lot of this stuff wasn't thought through very well.

EDIT: Somewhat related anecdote. When I was a counselor, I had quite a bit of training on gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues. And when I was doing counseling with my first gay couple I was quite struck by something and asked them up-front: "Am I missing something here? You guys aren't any different from the straight couples I've seen except that you do different things after the lights go out."

They assured me that I wasn't missing anything, and over time, as I gained more experience, I realized that, in fact, I wasn't missing anything. The whole issue of sensitivity to gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues is very overblown.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The schools get many unfunded mandates that at first blush appear to be minor add ons. Keep adding a brick one at a time and you pretty quickly get a wall.

Then there are mandates, or even voluntary programs where there are grants so you can implement them with someone else's money. "Free". Of course, when the grant runs out, the program does not die. They thencome to the public for more taxes or they will have to cut "existing" services.

This is not just in the schools, either.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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I agree with what Dzerzhinksy, Custer and Preacher say. You make it clear that you will not tolerate bullying, harrasment of any type and go form there. As far as counseling I agree with Dzerzhinsky that a good counselor need not be gay/non gay specific, just be good. My mother was a Psychologist and one of the things she did was counsel abusive men in a court ordered program and she was neither abusive nor a man.
I know there is a serious problem with gay, lesbian and trans-gendered kids and their suicide rate and the whole school staff should be on the look out for the bullying and harrasment as the kids are not likely to tell anyone as they don't want to be a "snitch".
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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-- 95 percent of school counseling services had little or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources

-- 99 percent of school counseling services had little or no transgender resources



And I'll bet 100% of school counseling services had no resources for those with the preference for whips and chains, sex with animals, poo eaters, golden showers, nor any other kinky sex.

GET OVER IT! :censored2
 

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Now, Pogo, why in the world would anyone need counseling for poo-eating?

Gotta go now. Got a hot lunch being served.
 
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