Instead of a wooden video explaining why bullying is a problem, the Department of Education added a personal touch to the issue.
In the 'It Gets Better' style, gay and lesbian staff members spoke candidly about their experiences being harrassed and ostracized because of their sexuality.
A former teacher spoke about the importance of helping students—gay or not—feel safe and supported. "LGBT students who do not have a supportive teacher are less likely to be successful," she said.
Another staff member spoke warmly of his partner. He said, "I've been with my partner for 35 year," and we're good for each other. For a long time, he said, life was very difficult and he had trouble with his identity.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at the close of the video:
I really believe that we can't just say 'it gets better.' All of us have to work right now to make things better today, not tomorrow. If you are a 14-year-old or a 15-year-old, asking you to wait four or five years for things to get better, that can seem like an eternity...Students shouldn't have to wait that long. I want to be clear that all of us have the power to make things better today, not tomorrow..
This video was released on the heels of the recent decision by the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education to collect anti-lgbt bullying data nationwide.
GLSEN's executive director said, according to Towelroad, that "LGBT-inclusive data collection may seem like a wonky goal. But let me tell you, data drives decision-making, and what is measured is what is valued when it comes to government action."
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