Monday, August 31, 2009

School Protects Gay Student After Suit

No one should ever have to experience such harassment and it shouldn't take a lawsuit for schools to react.  If you, or someone you know is experiencing something like this, notify Iowa Pride Network.  Schools should be safe for everyone.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

New "Thinking Queerly" Curriculum Debuts

To enhance and support local GSAs, Iowa Pride Network’s Regional Gay Straight Alliance Coalitions will begin meeting monthly starting in September. The coalitions reduce isolation that many LGBT students experience, educates students about LGBT history, people and events with our “Thinking Queerly” curriculum (only 16% of LGBT youth ever hear about this information in Iowa schools) and provides a refuge for students in schools who may not have a GSA.

The six coalitions are located in Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Mason City, Sioux City and Council Bluffs. Hundreds of students will utilize the coalitions this year!

The innovative “Thinking Queerly” curriculum used in the coalition meetings is now in its second edition and will be taught by IPN’s trained Leadership Team and Youth Council members. We know that students who are taught the curriculum increase their knowledge by an average of 30%. Last year, LGBT Youth and Mental Health; Future Leaders and Out Professionals; and understanding Power, Privilege and Oppression were rated the highest for knowledge increases.

An exciting development this year is the development of an online request form where individual GSAs can request specific monthly topics and supporting materials from our curriculum as a way to expand this resource at a local level.

This means that by completing a simple request form following a GSA Coalition meeting, GSA leaders can receive an emailed PDF version of that month’s curriculum that they can present partially or entirely to their Gay-Straight Alliance.

This is intended to provide GSAs with an active and accurate meeting agenda to bolster existing programming within the Gay-Straight Alliance. We strongly encourage GSA leaders to create additional and specialized programming to satisfy the unique needs of their school.

If you would like more information about our events, coalitions meetings, or want to start a GSA, please contact Rachel Johnson, Outreach Coordinator at: or by calling: 515-243-1110.

GSA Registration Drive set for Sept. 21-30

Iowa Pride Network is kicking off the year with our Annual Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Registration Drive September 21-30! Volunteers will help call all of Iowa’s 400+ schools and 30+ colleges. Last year’s efforts yielded ten newly discovered GSAs and over a dozen additional schools that wanted to start one! GSAs—an alliance of LGBT and straight students working to end homophobia and transphobia—are the core of our work as they reduce physical violence towards LGBT students in schools.

Today, 1 out of 3 LGBT students in Iowa are physically harassed and assaulted and will skip at least two weeks of school this year because they are simply too afraid to go. Luckily, LGBT students who have a GSA in their school are 23% less likely to be physically assaulted and are much more likely to attend school.

The GSA Registration Drive helps IPN focus its efforts on schools who request support starting a GSA and providing resources to schools who want to create safe learning environments for all students. For information on how you can be involved with this important work contact the Iowa Pride Network office at 515-243-1110.