Have you ever been bullied for being gay -- and then suspended for standing up for yourself? LGBTQ youth, youth of color, immigrant youth, and youth with disabilities are more likely to face harsh discipline and hostile climates -- and get pushed out of school.
While I was in New York this past December, I had a chance to host a meeting with a group of activists and youth organizers from across New York City that were working with GSA activists in NYC schools doing amazing GSA and safe schools organizing.
On behalf of LGBTQ youth facing harsh discipline and school pushout, GSA Network has submitted written testimony for a hearing happening today before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. The hearing is at 11 am PST and you can watch it here!
I’m so excited to announce the release of a groundbreaking new report on school discipline from GSA Network, Advancement Project, and Alliance for Educational Justice, Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Why Zero Tolerance is Not the Solution to Bullying.
A big kudos from GSA Network to National Association member Illinois Safe Schools Alliance on their groundbreaking work to de-link punitive discipline from bias-based harassment. Building school policy at the intersections of issues that impact LGBTQ and students of color for many years in Illinois, ISSA just narrowly lost a vote on IL House Bill 5290, which would have built on current state law to address not just bullying, but the number of youth of color caught up in the school-to-prison pipeline.
GSA Network’s Racial and Economic Justice Manager, Geoffrey Winder, recently testified before the CA Senate Select Committee on the Status of Boys & Men of Color. In its partnership with the California Endowment and six other youth development organizations, GSA Network represents the needs of young gay-bi and trans young men of color in Los Angeles as they try to address the systemic issues that are setting them up to be pre-prison, not pre-college.
Where can you learn about the school-to-prison pipeline, watch awesome performance artists, attend a workshop on trans inclusion in sports, and meet some amazingly courageous LGBTQ youth activists? Mississippi, of course!
"I learned that there's so much more out there than I ever knew there could be. Amazing people you never knew could exist until you walk through the doors and into the National Gathering." -- Cat Kryjak, Long Island Youth Delegate.
As a former GSA activist and GSA Network Alumni myself, I'm always interested to hear what my fellow GSA youth activists are up to now as adults. It's great to hear how people have been inspired by their GSA experience and continue to give back to the community. I'm happy to share Jennifer's story with you.
From GSA Youth Activist to GSA Advisor
Jennifer Pardini, who graduated from Carlmont High School in Belmont in 2001, got her start in LGBTQ activism through her GSA.