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Community Forum to Address Bullying of LGBT Youth

How can students and teachers help reduce the bullying of LGBT youth in our schools? That’s the subject of a public forum to be held in Arlington next weekend.

The Northern Virginia chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is inviting all interested parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders, residents and youth to discuss “what can be done to make schools safer for all students.” The forum is being held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, at the Unitarian Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd).

David Aponte, chair of the GLSEN chapter that’s organizing the forum, says that even in Arlington, bullying of LGBT students is a problem.

“We hear about it all the time,” Aponte said. “Luckily, here we haven’t had any cases… of school violence or anything like that, but we do definitely know there’s verbal bullying of LGBT students on a regular basis.”

Aponte says his organization tries to “give students the leadership abilities they need and the tools and resources they need so they can go back to their schools and make them safer.” The forum will also seek to engage teachers and figure out things they can do “to work with students to make things better.”

GLSEN is asking interested attendees to pre-register for the event.

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