Thursday, October 13, 2005

NC Family Policy Council's attack on LGBT youth makes News & Observer; Director of SafeSchoolsNC addresses issue, asks for support

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I wrote an earlier post (NC Family Policy Council Attacks LGBT Youth; Equality NC & Safe Schools NC gear up to lobby State Board of Education) about this and talked about how Equality NC and Safe Schools NC were gearing up to lobby the State Board of Education. The debate over proposed guidelines for school counselors and social workers began when the North Carolina Family Policy Council approached the State Board of Education taking issue with the guidelines because of their inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity issues. To read the Raleigh News and Observer article visit: This comes from the Director of Safe Schools NC: Last Wednesday, the State Board of Education was presented with a policy regarding standards for school counselors and social workers. This policy enumerated categories that counselors and social workers should be prepared to handle in schools and included sex role orientation. To view the policy, go to, and click on "quality teachers administrators and staff." You have to scroll down a ways until you see standards for counselors. The NC Family Policy Council has taken issue with the the policy specifically addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, saying that they don't believe all forms of diversity should be protected in schools. Because of the pressure placed on them by this organization, the State School Board decided not to vote on the policy until their meeting in early November, but it appears that many board members are leaning toward taking out the enumerated categories and using very general language. There was a very good article about the debate in today's News and Observer- I am composing a letter on behalf of Safe Schools NC to all of the School Board members urging them to keep the policy presented to them. I know Ian Palmquist has done the same on behalf of Equality NC. I urge each of you to also write letters on behalf of your groups and organizations. The State Board needs to hear from us, because we know that they are already hearing from groups like the Family Policy Council. This link will take you to their contact information- This is also another reason to organize as many people from your region as possible to participate in the Rally in Raleigh next Saturday, Oct. 22nd at noon on the southside of the Capitol building. This rally is all about the importance of enumerated policies and could not come at a better time, given that the Board will most likley vote on this policy in early November. You can get more details about the rally including directions at The student organizers of the rally are looking for more speakers- so if you know that you are coming and would be willing to speak on behalf of your organization, please contact me ASAP at 919-619-2167 or Thank you all for your time and attention to this very important matter. Melissa Weiss