The Associated Press printed an article Monday that surveyed the burgeoning movement against anti-LGBT bullying in schools across the United States — an awareness campaign that also includes the media. Focusing in on a number of high-profile suicide deaths, AP’s piece explores the experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who are challenging the authorities at their schools to take action against anti-LGBT bullies. Some students, like Benji Delgadillo, a transgender senior from California, are even helping to change the education their peers receive about LGBT issues. Delgadillo asked his history teacher to include the stories of gay and lesbian people in his lectures, a request that the teacher agreed to. The article also examines the measures schools are taking to ensure the safety of their students, which include increased training for teachers and stricter rules of inclusion.
However, alongside students, schools and advocates, the media is also playing a crucial role in making people aware of the difficulties faced by LGBT young people. This past week, millions of LGBT students and their allies went purple in support of Spirit Day. Last month, singer Lady Gaga spoke with President Barack Obama about reducing anti-LGBT bullying in schools. The movement against anti-LGBT bullying in schools is not run solely by the advocates, the lawyers, the educators or even the students. Media outlets also play a vital role in spreading awareness around the issue, and one way they do that is by producing excellent pieces of journalism that tell the stories of LGBT students and their allies.
GLAAD applauds the Associated Press for its fair coverage of this important issue. Pieces like these, which are printed in popular newspapers like the Washington Post, take the story of bullying in schools to the masses, and, in doing so, raise awareness of a nationwide problem that can only be resolved with the support of parents, students, educators, legislators, and the public at large.