1. To serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and information that center around diversity.
2. To facilitate educational staff's knowledge and current use of instructional strategies to accommodate the diverse learning styles and behavior patterns of each student.
3. To develop and enhance educational staff's sensitivity and responsiveness to, and respect of, the viewpoints of students from diverse backgrounds.
4. To support the goals of the Council for Exceptional Children and its members.
Thought-provoking QUOTATIONS for the student, educator, parent or other activist who wants justice, equity, and respect in education from Safe Schools Coalition
"I want American history taught. Unless I'm in that book, you're not in it either. History is not a procession of illustrious people. It's about what happens to a people. Millions of anonymous people is what history is about."
-- James Baldwin, openly gay, African-American novelist, college professor and civil rights activist who lived his latter years in France
"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but reveal to them their own."
-- Benjamin Disraeli, novelist, a brilliant debater and England's first and only Jewish prime minister
"The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, European-American author, poet and philosopher
"By the time they reach second grade, every child in the country knows what an Indian is. They wear lots of feathers, ride spotted ponies and shoot arrows. Indians who don't fit the type are invisible; they simply can't be imagined by the majority of white children or adults."
-- Rayna Green, writer, college professor and Director of the American Indian Program at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, of German and Cherokee descent
"The problem with our education system is not that parents do not have a choice. The problem is that inequities continue to exist."
-- Patsy Mink, Japanese-American civil rights leader and politician (the first woman of color to serve in the U.S. Congress)
"Both class and race survive education, and neither should. What is education then? If it doesn't help a human being to recognize that humanity is humanity, what is it for? So you can make a bigger salary than other people?"
-- Beah Richards, African-American actress, poet and activist
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that homosexuality 'is a lifestyle I don't agree with.' This is a trope you hear from the religious right a good deal, and it seems to have entered the conservative mainstream, rolling easily off the tongue. But it is a very odd thing to say. No one (speaking rationally) says, 'I don't agree with the Pacific Ocean' or 'I don't agree with the Grand Canyon.' Facts are not things you agree or disagree with. You can agree or disagree with viewpoints, thoughts or ideas, but homosexuality is not a viewpoint or an idea. It is a thing, an attribute, a nature, a fact."
-- columnist Paul Varnell, who is openly gay
"Teaching is not filling up a pail, it is lighting a fire."
-- Nobel Prize winning poet William Butler Yeats
"One man with courage is a majority."
-- Thomas Jefferson
“Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
-- Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
"This issue is not about a 'different' way of life; it is about life itself. I know that every teacher and every parent in this Commonwealth fundamentally agrees that no young person -- gay or straight -- should be driven to take her or his life because of isolation and abuse. This is a tragedy we must all work together to prevent. We can take the first step toward ending gay youth suicide by creating an atmosphere of dignity and respect for these young people in our schools."
-- Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, 1993
"Prejudice is a definitely a learned behavior. You aren't born hating a black person or an obese person or a gay person … Growing into myself, I realized that different is good, and different sets you apart."
-- Marissa Whitley, Miss Teen USA 2002, who is biracial
"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people, and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"
-- Coretta Scott King in 1998
“Regardless of a child's ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, sexual orientation or physical status, all children have a right to safety. When victimization through bullying, verbal abuse, and physical violence is prevalent in a school, the entire school community experiences the consequences.”
-- Dec. 2001 CDC report entitled "School Health Guidelines to Prevent Unintentional Injuries and Violence"
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
-- Albert Einstein, German Jewish scientist and mathematician
“We can love what we are, without hating what –- and who -- we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings.”
-- Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, who is from Ghana, Africa
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance."
-- Will Durant, Pulitzer Prize and Medal of Freedom winning writer, philosopher, and historian (Durant was American, of French-Canadian descent)
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."
-- Abraham Lincoln
Bullying, harassment based on sexual orientation common...
More than one-third of public school students have experienced physical harassment because of their sexual orientation. That's one of the findings of a new school climate survey by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
GLSEN executive director Kevin Jennings said bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students "remain commonplace in America's schools."
Inclusive policies, supportive school staff, and student clubs help reduce harassment, he said.
However, some of those clubs are under attack from evangelical religious groups that fear the clubs promote a homosexual lifestyle.
32 states have no anti-bullying laws
Only nine states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive laws that proscribe bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation. Nine others have "generic" anti-bullying statutes. The remaining 32 states have no laws against bullying.
The GLSEN survey found that states with inclusive anti-bullying laws reported significantly lower rates of verbal harassment than states with no such laws, 32 percent to 41 percent, respectively.
As for the school climate, the survey found gay and lesbian students were five times more likely than their straight peers to skip school out of safety concerns.
GLSEN also found:
bullet Gay and lesbian students subjected to frequent physical harassment were more likely to report they did not plan to go college.
bullet The average GPA for students who were frequently harassed was half a grade point lower (2.6) than that of gay and lesbian students experiencing less harassment (3.1).
bullet In schools with support groups, students were less likely to feel unsafe, less likely to miss school, and more likely to feel they belong.
The release of the survey coincided with last week's 10th National Day of Silence, during which nearly a half million students took part in activities to end bullying and harassment of students because of sexual orientation
Additional info can be found at the http://www.glsen.org website
For gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (glbt) information and lesson plans; www.glsen.org, and www.safeschoolscoalition.org.
From Safe Schools Coalition...
"A Foot in Both Places, Culture and Community at the Crossroads of War: Interviews with Arab, South Asian, and Muslim Community Activists" educational toolkit
NEW FROM AFSC
A Foot in Both Places is an online interactive educational toolkit, just released by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). It is available now through AFSC's site at both-places.afsc.org, and will available soon on CD-ROM.
The heart of this new resource is a collection of 25 interviews with community activists in Arab, South Asian, Muslim, and human rights/immigrant rights organizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and the New York City area.
Their testimony brings to life the human experience, personal reflections, and community initiatives that have emerged in response to the experience of being targeted as "enemies" in the US government's "war on terror." These intimate interviews are complemented by music, photographs, and more in an interactive Flash media presentation. (Instructions for downloading the free Flash player are included in the toolkit.)
This toolkit speaks to everyone who is concerned with the larger implications of the post-September 11 political climate, with its attempt to divide the world into an eternally warring "us" and "them." It is designed for individual, classroom, and community use by faith communities, interfaith groups, educators, and activists concerned with issues of civil rights and civil liberties, immigrant rights, religious pluralism, peace education, anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia.
The toolkit includes three main sections:
"Neighbors or Enemies," with chapters on "Living with Hate" and "In a World at War";
"Building on New Foundations," with chapters on "Standing Up, Reaching Out" and "New Strategies, New Organizations"; and "Changing Visions of Ourselves," with chapters on "Between Two Worlds," "From Generation to Generation," and "On Shifting Ground: Gender and Sexuality."
Also included is a photo gallery, educational games, a page of resources & links, and a facilitators guide with suggestions on using this toolkit for education and organizing.
This project was developed with the collaboration of three of AFSC's community-based programs. An Afterword, "Beyond Us and Them," offers overall reflections on creative community responses to the post-9/11 political climate.
"Positive Impact! Tools for Respecting Differences" free, bilingual booklet
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennett joined with ADL [the Anti-Defamation League] in unveiling "Positive Impact! Tools for Respecting Differences." The free, bilingual booklet was developed by the League's Mountain States Regional Office to help students, educators and community leaders understand and embrace diversity. The booklet has guidelines for challenging racism and an exercise on "How Can I Create a Just Society." Download it here (PDF): http://www.adl.org/denver/positive_impact.pdf
"Appropriate Use of the Internet" article for parents from the American School Counselors' Association
Go to: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=284
"Creating a Safe Clinical Environment for LGBTI Patients" free booklet
8 pages (PDF) from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. Download it here:http://www.glma.org/medical/clinical/lgbti_clinical_guidelines.pdf
"Be An Ally, Be A Friend" resource guide from GLAAD, the Gay, Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
It includes sections on:
10 Ways to be an Ally & a Friend
Is your child gay?
Teen & student allies
Stop anti-gay violence & bullies
Images in the media
When your mom or dad is gay
The workplace & LGBT issues
Equal rights, not special rights
Concerns about HIV/AIDS
Additional Online Resources
Online here: http://www.glaad.org/PSA2006/index.php?PHPSESSID=861983b172a54bf55a650040d56570c7
Subdivision Contact Person:
PACEC Multicultural Advisor