Event Date 1: February 25, 2011 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm
Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, will give the keynote address at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at the “Solutions to a Crisis: Supporting Students, Saving Lives” Conference in San Diego. He will address the importance of creating safe, supportive school environments and the harmful impact of bullying and harassment on academic performance of youth.
Jennings also will discuss the Department’s efforts over the past year to prevent bullying and create safe learning environments through its Safe and Supportive School grants program. Last year, the Department awarded $38.8 million in Safe and Supportive School grants to 11 states, including California, which received a grant for more than $2.2 million.
The goal of the Safe and Supportive School grants program is to provide assistance to state education agencies to develop measurement systems to assess conditions for learning within individual schools, including school safety, and to make this information publicly available. Using this data, the grant recipients will work in collaboration with participating local educational agencies to improve the learning environment within schools facing the biggest challenges.
In wake of the rash of teen suicides, conference organizers came together in February 2010 to discuss ways that educators and school counselors could better support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQIA) youth. This year, the three-day conference will empower counselors and educators to go back to their school districts and open up the lines of communication with children who are bullied or feel unsafe in schools because of their sexual orientation.
Research shows that 84 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, and 39.1 percent report being physically harassed due to their sexual orientation. An overwhelming 82.9 percent of students who were taunted with homophobic remarks report faculty/staff never intervened or intervened only sometimes. More than 40 percent of LGBT youth of color report being verbally harassed because of both their sexual orientation and their race/ethnicity.
Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education
Keynote address at “Solutions to a Crisis: Supporting Students, Saving Lives” Conference
2:30 p.m. PST Friday, Feb. 25, 2011
Doubletree Hotel-Mission Valley
7450 Hazard Center Dr.
San Diego, Calif.