Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders have launched a campaign to encourage the creation of more gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in middle schools across Massachusetts & in New England. Vickie Henry, Director of GLAD’s Youth Initiative stated, “Young people are coming out at a younger & younger age. It’s critical to have resources in place to support them & to educate their peers, so they can go through coming out safely & in a positive way.” LGBT middle school students are significantly more likely than their high school peers to experience verbal & physical harassment and assault, with 35.5% of middle school students reporting regular physical harassment compared to 21.4% of high school students. Yet while 52.6% of LGBT high school youth have access to a GSA, only 6.3% of LGBT middle school youth do. GLAD has partnered with Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth (BAGLY, Inc.), GLSEN Massachusetts, Greater Boston PFLAG, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth & True Colors: Out Youth Theater & the Theater Offensive to create the campaign. Throughout the school year, GLAD will be making available online content that educates & encourages the creation of middle school GSAs. GLAD will also provide assistance to any students who are having difficulty forming a GSA due to their school administration’s resistance or who believe their school is not treating an existing GSA the same as any other club.
For More Info: glad.org
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