Guest post: Choose the child who deserves to be bullied

By GLAAD |
October 15, 2014

by John Lake, LGBT Segment Manager, Enterprise Marketing, Wells Fargo

Bullying can take many forms. Intimidation on the playground, workplace harassment and domestic violence are a reality for too many people at some point in their lives. And whatever its source, there are common feelings that unite all of us who have ever been bullied: a real sense of hopelessness, overwhelming defeat and even fear of the future.

The problem is a serious one – and LGBT youth are especially vulnerable. According to the latest National School Climate Survey conducted by Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), over 80% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed last year due to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The effects of bullying have resounding consequences. LGBT students who face bullying and violence are more likely to skip school, receive lower grades and drop out of school. They are also less likely to attend college. According to studies by The Trevor Project, a leading national organization providing crisis intervention services, LGBT youth are four times more likely to commit suicide.

We are an institution that stands steadfastly for hope and opportunity, core values for Wells Fargo across the communities it serves. And where there is hope and opportunity, there is no tolerance for a bully.

Significantly, our commitment is ongoing, as Wells Fargo is one of the largest corporate supporters of organizations such as GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project.

This past year, for example, we partnered with GLSEN and helped them achieve their goal of getting their Safe Space Kits into every middle and high school in the U.S., so that each school is equipped with a curriculum and the tools for creating visible allies and safe havens for students when they feel threatened. That means more hope and more opportunity when kids need it most. Wells Fargo is also a strong supporter of Spirit Day, when our team members join millions of supporters throughout the country wearing purple to show their solidarity with LGBT youth.

For all of us, this commitment must extend beyond one moment in time. We must remember that this important work must continue as long as bullying is a threat to anyone.

 

GLAAD thanks Wells Fargo for its support as a National Presenting Partner of Spirit Day.