We are still in back to school mode and Hatch Youth Services held their annual GSA workshop this past Saturday, September 14th at the Montrose Center. Thirty two GSA sponsors and students attended the training to launch or strengthen the GSA at their High School or Middle School. Topics included a presentation from the ACLU on student rights in the public schools, writing a mission statement, and gender identity and inclusion. In addition, lots of fun icebreaking and networking activities were enjoyed.
Only half of students surveyed each year report that their school has a GSA club. In the latest National School Climate Report by GLSEN, compared to LGBTQ students who did not have a GSA in their school, students who had a GSA in their school
- Were less likely to miss school because of safety concerns (28.7% vs. 41.8%);
- Were less likely to hear homophobic remarks such as “fag” or “dyke” often or frequently (53.4% vs. 68.1%)
- Were less likely to hear negative re-marks often or frequently about gender expression (57.7% vs. 67.5%);
- Were less likely to feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation (51.7% vs. 67.3%);
These are some of the reasons that Hatch Youth Services is dedicated to supporting GSA chapters throughout the year. Participant reviews at Saturday’s training included such statements as “ awesome, awesome training!” Hatch Youth Services wishes to thank all of the “awesome, awesome” volunteers and staff who helped make this event a success.
If you would like a make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth, find a GSA chapter in a school near year to support or support the efforts of Hatch Youth Services.