Sept 30, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 39

Monday, Jun 01, 2020 07:07

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The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network featured in The Advocate
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network featured in The Advocate
Local teacher; GLSEN chapter included

Joe Bento, a Washington State high school teacher and the Education & Training Director of the Puget Sound chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is included in a feature article about GLSEN in this week's edition of The Advocate.

The article, "Protectors of Youth", takes a look at the national organization's work to combat anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender harassment and bullying in schools. GLSEN, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is credited with founding some of the first Gay-straight alliances in schools. It also provides resources and training to educators in order to improve the quality of the school experience for LGBT youth.

The group has published several national studies shedding light on the reality of school harassment. Last year's "State of the States" report assigned letter grades to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, based on how effectively their laws safeguard LGBT young people. Fourty-two states failed, with Mississippi coming in last. Only eight states and the District of Columbia currently have statewide legal protections for [LGBT] students, according to the report. Only California, Minnesota, and New Jersey include protections based on gender identity or expression.

With its "20 by 10" program, GLSEN's goal is to get 20 states to adopt protective legislation for LGBT students by 2010. The organization is also placing public service announcements in the media to educate the public about the harms of bullying and harassment as part of its "Teaching Respect" campaign.

Bento received the 2004 Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from the St. Andrews Masonic Lodge in Renton. GLSEN Puget Sound also awarded him the Rob Goldsworthy Outstanding Educator of the Year Award in May.

GLSEN Puget Sound can be contacted at (206) 330-2099, or via the group's website at

A GLSEN Puget Sound press release

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