ACLU of Kentucky Launches Pocket Card Project to Prevent Student Harassment and Discrimination in Schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, KY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, in partnership with the Hate Free Schools Coalition, today launched the Student Pocket Card Project to inform students of their right to attend schools free from harassment and discrimination.
“Whether it comes from other students or teachers, students experiencing harassment need to know that they are not alone and do not have to put up with such treatment,” said Michael Walker, a Coalition co-chair. “We want to inform them of the steps they can take to stop harassment.”
The pocket card lists steps a student should take to document and report harassment as well as get emotional support. The card encourages students to contact The Hate Free Schools Coalition through the ACLU of Kentucky for guidance and assistance.
A Kaiser Family Foundation and Nickelodeon study released in March found that bullying and teasing top the list of middle and high school students’ troubles.
The first large-scale national study of bullying in schools, conducted by the World Health Organization, revealed in April that one-third of American students in grades six through ten have experienced bullying at school.
The World Health Organization’s survey defined “bullying” as “verbal or physical behavior designed to disturb someone less powerful.” The researchers noted that intervention programs in England and Norway have reduced bullying by 30 to 50 percent.
In addition to the ACLU, the Coalition includes the Louisville Youth Group, Kentucky Youth Advocates, the Fairness Campaign, the National Coalition Building Institute, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, MasterMinds (youth group of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression), the Peace Education Program, the Gay and Lesbian Teachers Caucus of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and others.
The national ACLU said that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender students are five times more likely than their peers to skip school out of fear for their own safety.
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