GLSEN is an extraordinarily effective advocacy organization. It is organized, highly focused and its leaders communicate very forcefully. Along those lines I am going to quote one paragraph from an email I received on Monday from Eliza Byard, the group’s executive director (emphasis per original):
Since the 2016 election, life for LGBTQ students and all marginalized
youth – Latinx, Jewish, female, disabled, Muslim, Black, immigrant – has
changed. More than half of public high school teachers report seeing students with “high levels of stress and anxiety,”
and nearly 80% say students are expressing concern for their well-being
because of anti-immigrant sentiment and attacks on LGBTQ rights. Almost all say school climate has gotten worse since the election.
Those are scary and sobering words. Students who experience high levels of stress and anxiety are suffering. It also initiates a vicious cycle because these students are likely to be less successful in school which increases their stress and anxiety.
A year ago, and for the eight years prior, President Obama was a calming influence. He also knew what steps to take in order to make kids more successful. Today’s occupant of the Oval Office is a self-absorbed narcissist and sociopath who doesn’t give a crap about anyone else’s children. If we don’t do this ourselves, nobody will.
Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday. It is an opportunity to step up for organizations like GLSEN. This is the first time that I have ever posted anything like this. GLSEN has not asked me to do so. Our youth are at the core of who we are and they are in serious danger. But let me set sentiment aside and be pragmatic. These are our future business leaders, scientists and thinkers. If we do not protect them our society and our nation will ultimately bear the consequences.