Weingarten Adds Voice to 'It Gets Better' Campaign

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AFT president Randi Weingarten has added her voice to the "It Gets Better" campaign that aims to help gay teenagers who feel isolated or bullied and might be considering suicide.

Weingarten and Chicago teacher Katie Hogan recorded a video that is now on YouTube, along with hundreds of others made for the campaign, including many from celebrities. On Oct. 15, the AFT joined with three other major education organizations in a joint statement calling for a redoubling of efforts to protect children from bullying. (See earlier story.)

The project was started by Dan Savage, who said he was thinking about how to respond to the suicide of a 15-year-old in Indiana who killed himself after being constantly bullied. A reader on Savage's blog wrote, "My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas. I wish I could have told you that things get better." The videos are designed to convey the message that things have gotten better for the openly gay adults featured, and to help gay teens picture a positive future for themselves.

The "It Gets Better" website also asks people to take a pledge to "speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work."

More information is available on the Trevor Project website. [Dan Gursky, New York Times]

October 20, 2010