The RP strongly supports efforts to protect all of our children from bullying. Accordingly, he is highlighting his anti-bullying efforts this month at The Recovering Politician through the ad banner to the right and a series of articles. Our first piece below comes from the leader of the RP’s hometown fairness organization. Links to local and national anti-bullying campaigns are posted below.
If you’d like to share your thoughts and/or personal stories for publication this month, please send them (500-1500 words) to email@example.com- RP Staff
With hard decisions to be made in each of our lives, the ability to provide support to others becomes difficult. Our nonprofit organizations are suffering due to reductions in philanthropic giving. However, the need of those who depend on their services continues to increase. There are few nonprofits basking in the glow of unlimited donations; my organization, Lexington Fairness, is no different.
Our outreach involves a commitment to preventing bullying in our schools. It has become clear youth bullying is directly affecting not only the ability to learn, but the emotional and physical well being of our students. Although this problem is not new, recent media coverage exposes the impact school bullying has on children. Too many students, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, live in fear of taunt, harassment, and physical harm while attending school.
According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) 2009 National Climate Survey, the prevalence of bullying is clear.
- 85% of students were verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation
- 89% of students heard “gay” used in a negative way frequently or often at school
- 72% of students heard homophobic remarks frequently or often at school
- 61% of students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation
When bullying becomes too much to handle, tragic results can occur. According to a 2002 US Secret Service Report, harassment and bullying were linked to 75 percent of school shooting incidents. When bullying becomes too much, some students feel they must end their lives. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, LGBT students are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide. It is not acceptable to have students turning to suicide as the escape from pain of harassment and abuse by peers.
The first line of defense is helping schools to continue serving as safe havens. Education and resources are keys to helping school staff deal with the impact of bullying. Lexington Fairness is committed to Project Speak Out, a bullying prevention program in coordination with GLSEN. By providing professional training to school staff, along with GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit, schools become safer by nurturing growth, not intolerance. The results of Project Speak Out will send clear messages to all school staff and students there will be no acceptance of harassment, discrimination, and disgrace.
As with most nonprofits, we need your help to bring this program to life. Through December 31, our fundraising goal is $10,000, allowing immediate bullying prevention trainings. We know in this time of economic hardship, nonprofit giving and philanthropy are reduced. However, we hope you will consider helping fund our program. In fact, we have a challenge for 100 supporters to donate $100, fully funding the program. We hope you can join the Power of 100, or donate what you are comfortable giving. Every dollar adds to our path to bring bullying prevention to our schools.