National PTA, GLSEN, Education Organizations Submit Joint Amicus Brief to Supreme Court in Support of Gavin Grimm and Transgender Students

Media Contact:

Cathy Renna

press@glsen.org

917-757-6123

 

March 2, 2017—Seven leading education organizations representing millions of students, families, and educators submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Gavin Grimm in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. Several of the organizations issued this joint statement regarding the brief:

 

GLSEN: “This case brings to the nation’s highest court an issue GLSEN has advocated for decades: providing basic rights for transgender students in schools. All students have a right to a safe, supportive and respectful learning environment, including transgender students. Gavin Grimm’s story is one of countless transgender youth who suffer discrimination in schools and GLSEN is confident that the law is on our side. We have seen a tremendous increase in visibility of and public education about the trans community of late and this historic case will mark a milestone in American civil rights history,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

 

National PTA: “Every child deserves to receive a great education in a safe, supportive, positive and inclusive environment. However, like Gavin, the vast majority of LGBTQ

students are bullied, physically assaulted and feel unsafe in school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association. “There is a need for explicit protection of LGBTQ youth as it is critical to their overall health and well-being and long-term success. National PTA is pleased to team up with GLSEN and other education organizations on the amici curiae brief in support of Gavin and all LGBTQ students and to ensure every child is treated fairly and equally under the law.”

 

American School Counselor Association: “Childhood and adolescence is a time of tremendous intellectual, emotional and physical growth for students as well as crucial

periods of exploration and discovery about themselves and their identity. Schools and educators should provide all the support they can to help students navigate these times of change and should not be constrained by policies that marginalize or discriminate against certain students,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., executive director of the American School Counselor Association. “ASCA is proud to support this important effort to ensure safe and positive learning environments for all students.”

 

National Association of School Psychologists: “The National Association of School Psychologists strongly supports clear federal guidance protecting all students civil rights

under Title IX,” states NASP President Melissa Reeves. “Schools nationwide are increasingly supporting and affirming these rights for transgender students; however,

federal guidance that more explicitly clarifies this protection is needed in order to ensure the protection of students’ civil rights in every school in the country. These basic rights are essential to students learning and well-being and should not be dependent on where they live.”

 

The following organizations signed on to the amicus brief:

GLSEN – www.glsen.org

National PTA – www.pta.org

American School Counselor Association – www.schoolcounselor.org

National Association of School Psychologists – www.nasponline.org

National Association of Independent Schools – www.nais.org

Colorado Association of School Executives – www.co-case.org

Massachusetts Association of School Committees – www.masc.org

 

About GLSEN

GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN’s progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.


Non-Defense Discretionary Press Release

NDD (Non-Defense Discretionary) United is an alliance of thousands of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans. National PTA is a  member of this alliance. NDDU released the following press statement in response to President Trump’s first joint session of congress address.


PTA Take Your Family to School Week Brings Families into Classrooms Nationwide

PTAs and schools across the country host family-focused events Feb. 13-17

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 15, 2017)—National PTA has designated Feb. 13-17 PTA Take Your Family to School Week to encourage families to visit their child’s school and strengthen partnerships between parents, teachers and administrators. PTAs and schools nationwide are hosting a variety of events and activities to promote family engagement in education. The timing of the week honors the day PTA was founded, Feb. 17, 1897.

 

“For 120 years, National PTA has encouraged families to get more involved in their child’s education, as it is proven to have a positive impact on student success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “PTA Take Your Family to School Week shines a light on the significance of family engagement and provides families with an opportunity to visit their child’s school, meet school staff and inspire them to stay involved in their child’s education.”

 

Studies demonstrate that students with involved families attend school more often, earn higher grades, have higher graduation rates, have better social skills and show improved behavior. Family engagement also helps children navigate the challenges of growing up, such as bullying and online safety and responsibility.

 

This year, PTA Take Your Family to School Week incorporates the theme, “Celebrating the Changing Faces of Families” to honor the diversity of families and students across the country.

 

“Our nation’s children and families have many different talents, backgrounds, opportunities and challenges. It is critical that we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our school communities and ensure all families feel welcomed and supported,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “PTA is committed to helping school communities embrace diversity and inclusion, making sure the perspectives and needs of all families and students are represented, and empowering all families to support their children’s success.”

 

For more information on PTA Take Your Family to School Week, visit PTA.org/TYFTSW.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.

 

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242


National PTA Honors Excellence in Building Family-School Partnerships

173 schools and PTAs designated as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 1, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to recognize 173 schools and PTAs from across the country as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence for their leadership and accomplishments nationwide in building strong, effective family-school partnerships. The schools and PTAs represent 31 states and one Department of Defense school in Germany.

 

“Strong family-school partnerships are proven to advance children’s learning and growth, increase student achievement and positively impact school improvement efforts,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are pleased to designate these schools and PTAs as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence for their commitment to partnering to support student success and continuous school improvement.”

 

Through the National PTA School of Excellence program, PTAs partner with their schools to examine how families feel the school measures up to the research-based indicators of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. PTAs and schools then work together to address barriers and create new ways for families to support student success. The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded when a PTA and school have achieved a high level of family engagement or when a PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families’ perceptions by the end of the school year.

 

“It is essential that families feel welcomed and valued in their children’s school and are active participants in their education. It is also critical that families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA Schools of Excellence have put strong practices into place that involve families in the life of the school and are true examples of what can be accomplished when schools and families work together.”

 

In addition to receiving the 2016-2018 National PTA School of Excellence designation, National PTA will also recognize three of these schools and PTAs with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards for Innovation in Family Engagement—the highest honor presented by the association.

 

Join National PTA Friday, Sept. 9 at noon EDT on Facebook for a special live announcement of the 2016 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award recipients and National PTA School of Excellence program results.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

 

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242


Thank You, Teachers Project

TWHFP-Official
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Thank You, Teachers Project, 240-604-7384 Megan Scribner, tyteachersproject@gmail.com

NEW THANK YOU, TEACHERS PROJECT LAUNCHES WAVE OF
GRATITUDE FOR NATION’S TEACHERS

A heart-filled project to lift up teachers, one thank you letter at a time

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2016 — Every day in classrooms across the country, dedicated professionals put in long hours educating students, preparing lessons, grading homework, engaging with families, collaborating with colleagues, and overcoming obstacles. Their work is vital to children, parents, communities, and our future, yet rarely do teachers receive the thanks they deserve. The new Thank You, Teachers Project wants to change that by sending a wave of gratitude to teachers across the country, one thank you letter at a time.

“Teachers have one of the most challenging and important jobs in our country; they give their all but receive little recognition” said Thank You, Teachers Project Founder Megan Scribner. “The Thank You, Teachers Project offers a space anchored in gratitude, where individuals can take a moment to reflect upon and share the profound impact teachers have had on their lives, and where teachers, in turn, can be strengthened with pride, recognition and well-deserved kindness.”

The Thank You, Teachers Project provides an online space where individuals of all ages can post thank you letters to the beloved teachers in their lives (past and present). Participants are invited to remember the special teachers who mentored them from kindergarten through college….in the classroom, on the field, in the art studio, on stage, in the library, or even in the principal’s office. Parents are encouraged to help their children participate.

To send a letter to a teacher, visit the Thank You, Teachers Project online and fill out the Thank You, Teachers form. Letters will be posted on the Thank You Letters Gallery and on the Teaching with Heart, Fire & Poetry Pinterest site.

Visitors are encouraged to read the thank you letters posted on The Gallery and Pinterest pages. Participants can also follow the progress of the project via the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website, Facebook page and on twitter @poetry4teachers. Posts should include the hashtag #tyteachers.

On June 30th, the name of one lucky teacher will be drawn from the submitted thank you letters for a free gift copy of Teaching with Heart – a best-selling poetry anthology in which teachers reflect on their favorite poems and how these poems help them sustain their energy and passion for teaching.

All visitors to the Thank You, Teachers Project will have the additional opportunity to thank their admired teachers with the choice of two special gift packages. With the Thank You Letter Package, teachers will be mailed a printed copy of the thank you letter, fit for framing. A copy of the letter will also be sent to the teacher’s principal or supervisor to help the teacher receive proper recognition on the job. The cost for this gift package is $10.00, which covers the cost of formatting and posting the letters, shipping and handling – and helps to support this effort.

The Thank You Letter & Book Package includes all of the above plus an autographed copy of Teaching with Heart. The cost for this gift package is $30.00. These letters and gifts offer a heartwarming means of recognizing and thanking teachers at the end of the school year.

In conceptualizing this special gratitude project, Scribner drew on her experience as co-editor of Teaching with Heart, as moderator of the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website, and as an active leader in her community schools. Through all these efforts, she has worked to give voice to teachers’ hopes and fears, courage and heart – and, in turn, to help renew and inspire teachers.

“Teachers sustain our society by developing the next generation of citizens, thinkers, artists, professionals and parents,” Scribner said. “Yet, the demands and pressures can be overwhelming, and the burn-out rate is climbing. We want to give something back to them.”

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Thank You, Teachers Project:

The Thank You, Teachers Project provides an online space where people can post thank you letters to the special teachers in their life. By publicly thanking these teachers – recognizing the exceptional and difficult work they do each and every day – we honor and celebrate all teachers!

Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry:

Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry is an online community blog for teachers to share about their work and life. The online community was inspired by Teaching with Heart and Teaching with Fire, best-selling poetry anthologies where teachers reflect on their favorite poems and speak about who they are, why they do what they do, and how they keep their heart and commitment alive in their teaching.

Megan Scribner has three decades of experience as an editor, including co-editing three poetry anthologies: Teaching with Heart, Teaching with Fire and Leading from Within. She designed and moderates the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website and blog. A recognized community leader, she has held many leadership roles in local PTAs and, in 2012, received the Takoma Park Azalea Award for School Activist. She continues as an active volunteer in her community and committed to honoring and supporting teachers.