Despite an increase over the past decade in anti-bullying policies and other measures to promote safe school environments, biased language, bullying and harassment continue to be the norm at many U.S. middle and high schools.
"Overall, bullying still persists at unacceptable levels, and the gains of the past ten years throw the more intractable aspects of the problem into higher relief. LGBTQ students still face rates of violence much higher relative to their peers," GLSEN's Executive Director Eliza Byard said in the report's preface.
"Teachers report that they are less comfortable and less prepared to address the harsh conditions faced by transgender and gender nonconforming students. And amidst progress in reducing the use of most types of biased language in schools, racist language remains as prevalent as it was a decade ago," she continued.
The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board sided with the Chicago Public Schools Thursday, agreeing to move ahead with seeking injunctive relief to block future Chicago Teachers Union strikes like the one staged earlier this month.
Roughly 20 CPS teachers and parents rallied this afternoon on the West Side outside the now-shuttered Robert Emmet Elementary School. Emmet, located in the Austin neighborhood near the corner of Central Avenue and Madison Street, was closed in 2013 as part of the massive round of 50 school closings.
CPS teacher Tammie Vinson, who worked at Emmet before it closed, is now a special education instructor at nearby Oscar DePriest Elementary School, also in Austin.
Vinson said teachers are hitting the picket lines to call for fair-share revenue solutions to pay for increased education and social service funding.
"The message, really, is tax the rich," she said. "Bring in what we need so that we can fully fund our schools, we can fully fund our communities. We're here now to show the disinvestment on the West Side ... Even when you get to the commercial areas of the West Side, that money doesn't stay in our community. The money that comes here goes right out ... We don't have a firm tax base, so the services that we need are not here."
There was palpable anger in the standing-room only audience as the Alliance of City College Unions hosted a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss a number of issues, including tuition raises and program consolidations.
Following February's no-confidence vote for City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, faculty members say they have been let down by the administration, save a select few.
Loretta Ragsdell, president of the city colleges' part-time faculty union, thanked all the politicians who have advocated on behalf of faculty.
"We have a lot of friends in politics," said Ragsdell. "Not Rauner, and certainly not Rahm."