GLSEN has created a teacher’s guide to assist middle and high school educators in presenting the various components of this campaign to students, framing and discussing the ads in class, and extending student learning about the negative consequences of homophobic language and anti-LGBT bias. The core of the guide consists of six educational activities that increase awareness and knowledge of the issues, develop skills for addressing them and promote social action. The activities can be used sequentially or as stand-alone experiences in the classroom, as part of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) meetings, with students in diversity clubs, as part of a school diversity day or as part of other extracurricular activities that promote respect and equality.
Download the Educator's Guide.
Additional resources can also be found in the Educators section at www.glsen.org.
Some Background on the Campaign
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens in the U.S. experience homophobic remarks and harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe. GLSEN’s 2007 National School Climate Survey found that three-quarters of LGBT teens hear slurs such as “faggot” or “dyke” frequently or often at school, and nine in ten report hearing anti-LGBT language frequently or often. Homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay” are the most commonly heard type of biased remarks at school. Research shows that these slurs are often unintentional and are a part of teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.
Studies indicate that students who regularly experience verbal and non-verbal forms of harassment suffer from emotional turmoil, low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, poor academic achievement and high rates of absenteeism. Research also shows that many of the bystanders to acts of harassment experience feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and develop poor coping and problem-solving skills. Clearly, homophobic and all types of harassment—and the toxic effects they produce—are whole school problems that all educators must confront.
To address this disconcerting reality, GLSEN, together with The Ad Council, has created the first national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to address the use of anti-LGBT language among teens. The campaign aims to raise awareness among straight teens about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents, because their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior among the target age group.
Available Campaign Materials
The following public service advertisements are available to download and use in your classroom or school. Please note the indicated expiration dates, after which time materials may no longer be used or distributed. You can also click here to download a campaign fact sheet.
To order a DVD of the Think B4 You Speak public service television ads, please contact Camille Beredjick at firstname.lastname@example.org