school safety en Strange Fruit: Kentucky Schools Unsafe for LGBTQ Students <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src=";color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Did you feel safe in middle and high school? Were you ever physically harassed, or even assaulted, because of your LGBTQ identity? A report released last month by the <a href="">Gay, Lesbian &amp; Straight Education Network</a> (GLSEN) confirms what many of us already knew: Kentucky schools are often hostile and unsafe for LGBTQ students.</p><p>The study is called <a href="">School Climate in Kentucky</a>&nbsp;(PDF), and the results show lots of work still needs to be done. For example, 9 out of 10 students in the Commonwealth say they regularly hear anti-gay slurs in school. 36% report regularly hearing that language&nbsp;<em>from school staff members</em>.</p><p>Nearly 6 in 1o students were physically harassed (like being pushed or shoved), and 3 in 10 were physically assaulted (like being punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) because of their LGBTQ status or gender presentation.&nbsp;</p><p>So instead of just rattling off numbers and feeling disheartened, we decided to speak to the folks who compiled the research. Mark Bartkiewicz&nbsp;is a GLSEN researcher who worked on the state reports, and he joined us by phone this week to talk about the results, how Kentucky's numbers compare to other states, and what can be done to help (spoiler alert: it's gay/straight student alliances and enlightened faculty members).</p><p>We also spoke more this week about the closet door in professional sports (for people who know next to nothing about them, we sure do talk about them a lot). This week, NCAA breakout star &amp; top WNBA draft pick Brittney Griner came out of the closet. "I wouldn't say I was hiding or anything like that," she told Sports Illustrated <a href=";eref=sihp">in an interview</a>. "I've always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So it wasn't hard at all. If I can show that I'm out and I'm fine and everything's ok, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way."</p><p>Who<em> doesn't</em> feel the same way? Male professional athletes, it would seem. In fact, this same week, NFL player and University of Louisville alumnus Kerry Rhodes has been the target of gay rumors after released pictures of him <a href="">looking affectionate with another man</a>&nbsp;while on vacation (they helpfully illustrated the story with an NFL logo in which the football has been covered in pink sequins).</p><p>Rhodes told The Advocate that <a href="">he's not gay, but he's an ally</a>. "I know a lot of people are recently talking about athletes struggling to come out to their fans right now," he said, "and I support them, as well as wish those individuals comfort." It seems like the world is waiting for an actively-playing male athlete to come out, so in our Juicy Fruit and closing thoughts segments this week, we did some unpacking of the situation. How do sexual politics play out in the hyper-masculine&nbsp;culture of pro sports (especially football), and why is it <a href="">so very different</a> for women athletes than men?&nbsp;</p><p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Laura Ellis 5071 at Strange Fruit: Kentucky Schools Unsafe for LGBTQ Students Stripped-Down School Safety Bill Clears Indiana House <p></p><p>The Indiana House of Representatives has approved the creation of a state grant program to help school districts hire police officers and buy safety equipment.</p><p>Lawmakers removed a provision that would have required all public schools to have a gun-carrying employee on site during school hours.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That amendment from Republican Rep. Jim Lucas was taken out after concerns were raised about training standards and the safety of having non-police officers carrying guns in schools.</span></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 18:47:11 +0000 Rick Howlett & Associated Press 4984 at Stripped-Down School Safety Bill Clears Indiana House School Safety Bill Clears Indiana Senate Panel <p></p><p>Indiana lawmakers say they hope to improve security at schools around the state by offering grants toward hiring police officers and buying safety equipment.</p><p>A bill approved today by a state Senate committee would set up a two-year matching grant program allowing schools up to $50,000 a year. Bill sponsor Sen. Pete Miller says he hopes $10 million a year will be set aside for the program, so that 200 grants could be awarded.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"This is a first step toward school safety," Miller told the Senate Appropriations Committee. &nbsp; </span></p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 20:03:18 +0000 Rick Howlett & Associated Press 4004 at School Safety Bill Clears Indiana Senate Panel Police, JCPS Say Prevention and Participation Are Key to School Safety <p></p><p>In the wake of last year’s mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., school safety has been a resounding issue in many communities.&nbsp;</p><p>Kentuckiana school districts are among them and while some schools have improved school security, local leaders say the effort will require community involvement.</p><p>On December 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a killing spree leaving 20 students and six adults dead. Since then state and congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pressured to reconsider gun laws.</p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:29:25 +0000 Devin Katayama 3336 at Police, JCPS Say Prevention and Participation Are Key to School Safety