A Special Message on National Gay-Straight Alliance Day

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have taken many steps to ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

Bullying is an epidemic that has gone ignored for too long, and far too many of our young people are targeted and harassed based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  But across the country, Gay-Straight Alliances and other similar student groups are taking important steps to address these issues.

Last year, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and others welcomed students, parents, and teachers in addition to non-profit leaders, advocates, and policymakers to the White House for a Conference on Bullying Prevention.  Also last year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter to school districts across the country in support of Gay-Straight Alliances.  And today, on the occasion of the first-ever National Gay-Straight Alliance Day, Secretary Duncan has taped a video message to students, teachers, and allies to re-emphasize the Obama Administration’s commitment to safe schools for all students.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

Take a look at Secretary Duncan’s video message, and then check out the following:

Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.