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posted Friday, October 1, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 40
Claim Your Rights campaign launched
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Claim Your Rights campaign launched

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National has come together with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to launch a joint project: the Claim Your Rights campaign.

According to PFLAG and GLSEN, the Claim Your Rights campaign is 'a historic effort to empower students and their allies to report incidences of bullying, harassment, or discrimination to the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department.'

The campaign was created alongside the release of GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey. The 2009 survey found that nine out of 10 LGBT students reported being harassed in school in the past year for their sexual orientation or for how masculine or feminine they were in appearance or behavior.

"With fewer than one in five LGBT students saying their school specifically protects students from anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, it comes as no surprise that nearly two-thirds of LGBT students who experience harassment do not report the incident to school staff," said GLSEN's executive director, Eliza Byard, in a press release. "The Claim Your Rights campaign provides students a safe way to report bullying and harassment."

The Claim Your Rights campaign's website includes a basic toolkit and instructions on how to submit a report online. It can be found on both PFLAG and GLSEN's websites.

"When students and teachers, parents, and allies make reports of bullying, harassment, or discrimination directly to the Education Department, they are building a record that will confirm what we know through research and personal narratives alike: bullying and harassment is widespread, pervasive, destructive, and must be addressed," said Jody Huckaby, PFLAG National's executive director.

You can check out the website directly at www.pflag.org/claimyourrights.

PFLAG National is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 300 chapters throughout the United States.

GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

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