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News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Students battle discrimination with silence

A group of Pittsburg State University students hopes that their silence on Wednesday speaks volumes. Members of the PSU Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) will participate in a national day of silence on Wednesday, April 18, to bring attention to discrimination, harassment and abuse that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies face in schools.

Lacy Bridgewater, QSA co-president, said the event is especially meaningful at PSU “because though our LGBT community may be small and our ally population seems to be even smaller, we still deserve to have a voice.”

Bridgewater said she hopes that the event will work towards ending some of the silence and hatred students face. A national school climate survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that more than 80 percent of LGBT students had experienced verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and 29 percent reported missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.

“The Day of Silence is one way students and their allies are making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America’s schools,” Bridgewater said.

On Wednesday, members of the QSA will be wearing t-shirts identifying themselves and will be passing out “speaking cards” that explain their silence and encourage others to be aware of the problems that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students face.

For more information, contact Marshall Estes or Lacy Bridgewater at PSUQSA@hotmail.com
For more information and a complete collection of organizing materials, visit www.dayofsilence.org
For more information on the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, visit www.glsen.org

---Pitt State---