Media Availability: Experts on Bullying and Suicide of LGBT Youth Available for Interview

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In the wake of a recent series of youth suicides that have made headlines around the nation, the bullying and abuse suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in schools has taken on a new pertinence. Today, experts from three different organizations working on making schools safe environments for these youth will be available for media briefings and interviews.

Brad Sears and Sheila Kuehl will be available on behalf of the Williams Institute, a leading research institution on sexual orientation policy and law. Brad, Nan, and Sheila will be available to speak immediately following a policy briefing in Washington, DC, today, Safe at School: New Policy and Legislation Recommendations Addressing LGBT Safety in Schools. Brad is the Williams Institute’s founding director and current executive director. Sheila, one of the panelists at today’s policy briefing, is a former California state senator.

Brad and Sheila can speak to:

  •     Williams’ policy recommendations for making schools safe for LGBT youth and ending anti-LGBT bullying
  •     How, with proper training, administrators and teachers can prevent youth suicides before they happen

Shane Windemeyer, Sue Rankin, Ph.D., and Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld will be available on behalf of Campus Pride, an organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. Campus Pride recently released its 2010 State of Higher Education report on anti-gay discrimination on college campuses. Shane is the organization’s cofounder and Executive Director, a leading author on gay campus issues, and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses. Sue is lead researcher and co-director of Campus Pride's Q Research Institute for Higher Education, and co-author of the State of Higher Education report. Warren is a professor at Iowa State University, an expert on LGBT issues in education, and a co-author of the report.

Shane, Dr. Rankin, and Dr. Blumenfeld can speak to:

  •     How institutions of higher educations are failing – and succeeding – at making their campuses safe and accepting of LGBT students
  •     How the Tyler Clementi case demonstrates the need for action by institutions of higher education

Dr. Caitlin Ryan, executive director of the Family Acceptance Project (FAP), will be available. FAP is a community research, intervention and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well-being of LGBT youth. Caitlin is a co-author of a first-of-its-kind study to be published in a forthcoming issue of Developmental Psychology, finding that LGBT students who do not conform to gender norms suffer long-lasting psychological harm as a result of the bullying, social isolation, and violence they encounter in school.

Dr. Ryan can speak to:

  •     The correlation between adolescents’ perceived violation of gender norms and the victimization they face in school
  •     The connection between this victimization and these adolescents’ mental health
  •     How family acceptance, or lack thereof, affects the potential impact of an anti-gay school environment on LGBT students

EDITORS: To schedule an interview, please call or email Cathy Renna.

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Cathy Renna
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