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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

State of the Nation 

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has released its 2004 State of the States report on Safe Schools. The states and DC were evaluated on various criteria relating to GLBT students, some of which would give points and some of which would deduct points:

"All 50 states and the District of Columbia were given letter grades based on points granted in six categories, including existence of statewide safe schools laws, statewide non-discrimination laws, support for education on sexual health and sexuality, local safe schools policies, general education issues (e.g. student/teacher ratios, graduation rates) and existence of laws that stigmatize LGBT people."

Based on total points, 42 states received failing grades, with Mississippi actually receiving a negative score. New Jersey received the top grade, with a 95. Massachusetts received a C, with 70 points.

You can read the full report or the report for a particular state from the GLSEN page linked above.

For an interesting look into other interpretations and presentations of the data and report, see CSN News.com's article on the report. This site presents itself as a site dedicated to balancing the "liberal bias" of "many news outlets" by providing:

"...an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission.

CNSNews.com endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues.
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Here's CSNNews' introduction to GLSEN's report:

"The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network took a swipe at 42 states Monday in a report that advocates for so-called "safe schools" laws that include legal protection for sexual orientation and gender identity.

The homosexual advocacy group gave passing grades to only eight states and the District of Columbia for having policies that cater to homosexual, bisexual or transgender students. GLSEN's report criticizes the other 42 states for not doing enough.
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They do a good job of not being blatantly inflammatory in their stories, but they clearly have a bias of their very own, starting with the views they have determined are "incorrect myths," and continuing with their word choices. At any rate, it's a good site to look over to see what "the other side" is presenting to its audience.

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