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Dec 9, 2013

Equality NC-Led Panel to Address Recent Attacks on LGBT Students and Families

Charlotte, N.C. – Equality NC, North Carolina’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, will lead a panel discussion of state and national LGBT leaders, Wednesday, December 11, at 6:30p.m., from Charlotte’s Time Out Youth Center (2320-A North Davidson Street, Charlotte, N.C. 28205).

Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, will participate in Wednesday's public forum in Charlotte on Wednesday.

The hour-long "Roundtable on Safe Schools" will respond to a series of recent incidents impacting the state’s LGBT-identified children and families, including:

  • Gov. Pat McCrory’s November appointment of anti-LGBT attorney Buddy Collins to a two-year term on the governor's Task Force on Safer Schools.
  • A private school voucher program recently passed by the North Carolina General Assembly that allows taxpayer funding of anti-LGBT private schools.
  • Local resistance to full implementation of anti-bullying protections and other safeguards for gay and transgender students.

Hosted by Charlotte’s LGBT youth advocacy and education organization, Time Out Youth, and led by Equality NC’s executive director Chris Sgro, the December 11, panel discussion will feature Eliza Byard, executive director of the national Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), as well as North Carolinas educators and student leaders impacted by recent anti-LGBT policies.

WHAT: Panel: “Roundtable on Safe Schools”
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Time Out Youth Center (2320-A North Davidson Street, Charlotte, N.C.)
WHO: Current participants include Chris Sgro, Executive Director, Equality NC; Eliza Byard, Executive Director, GLSEN; Micah Johnson, MSW, Director of School Outreach and GSA Support, Time Out Youth; and local educators and student leaders.

The event is FREE and open to the public and media.

Since November when the Myrtle Grove policy came to light, Equality NC has led a supporter-driven campaign to encourage legislators to take action to make sure taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize anti-LGBT schools.

“While it is lawful for private schools to reject those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, this shameful reality hardly makes it right,” Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said on Wednesday. “But exclusionary policies like those at Myrtle Grove Christian School not only shed light on the sometimes harsh realities of growing up LGBT or in an LGBT family in North Carolina, they also expose the inequality of opportunity that our state’s current private school programs impose on our state’s most vulnerable citizens. Because Myrtle Grove will be one of the private schools eligible for tax-payer funding in the 2014-2015 school year, Equality NC pledges to rally our supporters to take immediate action and lobby legislative leaders to make sure that not one dollar of taxpayer money can be used for schools that discriminate for any reason, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Equality NC encourages its supporters to contact their legislators by clicking equalitync.org/action/schools.

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