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Back to Aug. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 127 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS AUGUST 1996

Gay Lesbian Caucus Flaunts Its
Influence at '96 NEA Convention
At the 1990 NEA convention in Kansas City, the gays and lesbians met without publicity and circulated their demands on one mimeographed sheet. At the 1996 convention, however, about a third of the delegates sported NEA-GLC (Gay Lesbian Caucus) buttons, and an eight-page, professionally produced newsletter announced eleven caucuses during the convention plus an AIDS quilt display and a cocktail reception and social.

The GLC newsletter advertises a gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth magazine called insideOUT, in which one article boasts about the attempt to start gay-lesbian clubs in Salt Lake City high schools under the Equal Access Law. The 17-year-old who initiated this effort, Kelli Peterson, "really just raised a lot of hell about gay rights and I'm hoping that this will be the movement for gay people that the civil rights movement was for others."

An official NEA Human and Civil Rights Action Sheet distributed at the convention listed six "Recommendations" for action by the NEA's State Associations:

  • Work with the school district, the parent-teacher organization, and community groups to provide information to other members, parents, and counselors about the developmental and health needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.

  • Provide training to enable selected staff to become resources to members on gay, lesbian, and bisexual student issues.

  • Recommend to the school district that inservice programs address gay, lesbian, and bisexual concerns; and that the library include positive learning materials about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

  • Encourage the establishment and maintenance of peer support and community self-help programs for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.

  • Work with the school district to develop or expand school policy to ensure respect for diversity, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

  • Participate in coalitions to improve support and services for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.

 
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