Friday, October 20, 2006

Right Wing Hate Targeted at GLBT Youth & GSA's

Welcome to Georgia. Home of the Christian redneck. It is no wonder that so many Gay people in Georgia try to avoid anything outside of the Perimeter in Atlanta.

ACTUP - Call the Georgia Board of Education Mr.Dana Tofig, Director of Communications. Phone (404) 463-1487 Email :

Ga. schools in denial over anti-gay bullying
While extremists push an agenda driven by bigotry rather than student needs, state officials stick their heads in the sand.

By Kevin Jennings
Friday, October 20, 2006

SOME PEOPLE JUST don’t get it.

On October Oct. 4, our organization, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and & Straight Education Network), released “From Teasing to Torment: A Profile of School Climate in Georgia” that showed students in Georgia see bullying and harassment in schools to be a much bigger problem than do students in the nation as a whole.

In fact, Georgia students were 1/3 more likely to say that bullying and harassment were serious problems in their schools than the typical American student (49 percent versus 36 percent).

In response, Georgia Department of Education Communications Director Dana Tofig told Southern Voice, “I wouldn’t say that there’s a high level [of bullying in Georgia schools]. It happens, it probably happens at every school in Georgia … but also across the nation,” he said.

With all due respect, Mr. Tofig: Wrong answer.

Did Mr. Tofig do miss that 49 percent is much higher than 36 percent? Or is he proving, as some wags would put it, that “denial is not just a river in Egypt?” I suspect it is the latter. We all want to pretend that bullying and harassment are somebody else’s problems. But students in Georgia have said, loud and clear, this is not the case.

UNFORTUNATELY, EDUCATION poli-cymakers in Georgia show a disturbing tendency to ignore the facts in favor of unfounded ideology when it comes to what works in making schools safe. For example, “From Teasing to Torment” found that Georgia students in schools without Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs were three times more likely to report that bullying and harassment were serious problems than those who attended schools that had GSAs (52 versus 17 percent).

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