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GLSEN stands for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. It is a non-profit organization in the United States that focuses on promoting safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) students. GLSEN was founded in 1990 by a group of teachers in Massachusetts who wanted to address the lack of resources and support for LGBTQ+ students in schools.
The organization’s mission is to create safe and affirming school environments where LGBTQ+ students can learn and thrive. GLSEN works towards this goal through a variety of initiatives, including educational programs, policy advocacy, research, and student organizing. They provide resources for educators, students, and parents, offering guidance on creating inclusive curricula, preventing bullying and harassment, and supporting LGBTQ+ youth.
GLSEN also organizes events and campaigns to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and advocate for inclusive policies in schools and communities. One of their most well-known initiatives is the “Day of Silence,” where students take a vow of silence to draw attention to the silencing effects of bullying and harassment.
Overall, GLSEN plays a significant role in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity in the education system, striving to ensure that every student, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can receive an education in a safe and supportive environment.