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Education & Outreach

Our Education & Statewide Outreach work covers the entire state of Vermont – yup, all 14 counties!

You can invite Outright VT to your school via phone: 802-865-9677 ext. 4# or via email: education@outrightvt.org

We aim to help educators and students change the climate in their schools, by providing:

  • anti-harassment and anti-bullying trainings and workshops for teachers, administrators, counselors, and students in a variety of settings – classes, full school assemblies, and more;
  • working with schools to help start or sustain Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs) – often now known as Queer/Straight Alliances (QSAs);
  • hosting an annual Queer & Allied Youth Summit in a different part of the state each year, helping to have students and educators network, learn from each others’ successes, and develop youth leadership in their QSAs.

For over 20 years, Outright VT has worked to end bully culture through education and firm response to incidents. We advocate, educate, and provide direct support to youth to prevent or address the impact of bullying.

One way we have measured our success over the years was via the percentage of self-reported suicide attempts by queer youth in the Vermont statewide youth risk-behavior survey.

Since 2011, we have reached 6,829 students through 237 presentations to schools in every county of VT. We have seen first hand the difference it makes to go to students, in their schools, and to normalize queer lives, teach students how to stand up to bully behavior and to hold schools accountable to being safe learn environments for all young people.

Our impact can also be measured and felt:

  • In the 37 Vermont Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs
  • In the experiences of the over 150 youth and educators who attend our annual queer youth summit every year in May – a conference where students network and learn from each other.   A youth said, ‘My self esteem and confidence just blossoms while I’m (at the summit), and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to experience something like that.”
  • In the protections from TWO new anti-harassment laws we were instrumental in helping to pass this past legislative session. Our Governor Peter Shumlin praised us saying Outright VT was instrumental in the process and that “the bills I signed a few days ago give the authority that schools need to make clear that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable at any hour.” As of January 1st, 2013 this new enforcement for reports of bullying and harassment will take effect in Vermont.  Want to see the official protocols? Visit the VT Department of Education’s new Model Bullying Prevention Policy is online: http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Bullying_Prevention_Model_Policy.doc

We refuse to simply believe that it can get better for queer youth in our schools and communities. We are and have consistently for over 20 years, been actively making it better.

In a small, rural state like Vermont – despite our history as a progressive and liberal state on queer issues – it is still very common for queer youth to feel like they are the only one. We work hard every single day – through all our programming – to debunk this myth and to show how vibrant queer lives can be.

A youth shared this: ‘Outright really does change lives. It has been the reason for so many high points in my life. At Outright I felt free and accepted for the first time ever.’

A mom shared this: ‘Thank you, again, for all you do for the kids. I can not begin to express what what it means, as a parent, to see a place where your kid can belong and blossom.’

More and more Vermont schools are looking for ways to support their queer (LGBTQQ) youth and we have been happy to be a part of the good work that schools – youth, teachers, staff, administration, and community members – are doing!

You can invite Outright VT to your school via phone: 802-865-9677 ext. 4# or via email: education@outrightvt.org

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