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by Karen Phillips

GSAFE: GAY STRAIGHTADVOCATES FOR EDUCATION

Clyde Rice and Dana Stachowiak are the 2012-2013 co-chairs of GSAFE, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for every student and every educator in Guilford County and surrounding areas in North Carolina, especially concerning issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Guilford County schools have an anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policy, and GSAFE works with schools to help provide training for educators on specific LGBTQ issues. Rice and other members of the GSAFE board understand that some educators may not feel comfortable addressing LGBTQ issues, but he said, “It is important that they realize they have a responsibility to protect these students from verbal and physical harm and make school a safe place for learning, just like they would for any other student.” GSAFE has partnered with Youth- Safe, a welcoming and ongoing social networking group where LGBTQ teens can get together with supportive people to realize they’re not alone. They meet on the third Thursday of each month, 7-8:30 p.m. at 210 E. Bessemer Ave. in Greensboro. Rice said he hopes that one day “there will no longer be a need for our organization because that safe and supportive environment would be in existence.” Visit gsafe.org for more information.

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