The P.E.R.S.O.N. Organizing Manual

P.E.R.S.O.N. stands for Public Education Regarding Sexual Orientation Nationally.
(Version 1.4, Release date February 1996;)

A directory of information for organizing for educational equity (k-12, public schools) in the USA via reform of curricular and textbook policies to include fair and accurate information on LGBT people and sexual orientation. Includes extensive information on the process of textbook adoption in most states, suggested strategies, and absolutely massive amounts of resource and networking information for every state and nationally.

Copyright 1995 by David Marshall, Robert Kaplan, and Jessea Greenman. This document may be reprinted, for free and without prior permission from its authors, ONLY IF without change AND ONLY IF reprinted IN ITS ENTIRETY AND ONLY IF for non-commercial purposes AND ONLY IF COMPLETE ATTRIBUTION TO ITS ORIGINAL AUTHORS IS INCLUDED. Permission is necessary to use any PART of this document; to obtain such permission, contact The P.E.R.S.O.N. Project, 586 62nd St., (HIGHLIGHT THE "62" ON ENVELOPE) Oakland CA 94609-1245, or email jessea@uclink2.berkeley.edu. Permission will be granted, free, for most bona fides purposes. Unauthorized use of this material may be prosecuted. All Rights Reserved by The P.E.R.S.O.N. Project. N.B. This document will be updated and revised on an ongoing basis. It has been produced ENTIRELY by volunteers.

To obtain a copy (allow 2 weeks for delivery):

Online: This document is available on the World Wide Web. Currently, the manual is located at the following URL:
http://www.personproject.org/
Mac Version on disk: Send "THREE" Mac-formatted 3.5" HD (1.4 MB) floppies and a self-addressed envelope bearing $.78 first-class postage to Jessea Greenman at the address above. This document is in Microsoft Word 5.1a.

We thank David Anderson, Claude DiDomenica, Mary Gray, David Leonard, and Jean Richter for Web help, Bill Stostine for his voluminous media contact info and online news; David Riccomini for background research; Mitch King for the material in Appendix III, Al Kielwasser for the germ of an idea which led to this manual, Charles Hill for the WWW curriculum hotlinks information, and the many reviewers of material for individual states.


Frontispiece:

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), at its national conference on October 14, 1994, voted by a large margin to approve the following amendment concerning sexual orientation protections to its by-laws:

NASBE Resolution 94-6 A
"State boards should provide leadership in eliminating stereotypes and discrimination on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, or national origin in curriculum materials, counseling methods and other education processes."

National Association of State Boards of Education, 1012 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA, 22314, Voice: 703-684-4000, Fax: 703-836-2313.

And, from the 1995 RESOLUTIONS, BELIEFS, AND POLICIES OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, 1680 Duke St., Alexandria, VA, 22314, Voice: 703-838-6722, Fax: 703-683-7590:

3.4 NON-DISCRIMINATION. SCHOOL BOARDS SHOULD ENSURE THAT STUDENTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, RACE, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, RELIGION, GENDER, DISABILITY, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
This manual is dedicated to:

Robert Birle, a longtime educational equity activist, who died May 7, 1995. Rob worked without letup throughout his adult life for justice for LGBT people.

Darlene Ceremello, a teacher for 27 years, whose daily work brings life and meaning to the ideal of respecting the dignity and worth of all students.


RECOMMENDATIONS ON USING THIS DIRECTORY:

Introductory chapter (about 28 pages): strategies, arguments, tips, background, philosphy.

Midsection: Each state and DC, in alpha order. Each state has 4 subsections: background, education-specific information, current context, and resources (including allies and youth resources and media contact info).

Appendices:

  1. National resources
  2. Resource Bibliography
  3. Policy Statements
  4. Right Wing
  5. Research on Health Education Needs Of LGBT Youth
  6. Media Skills
  7. Organizing for LGB History Month
  8. Legal Resources and Amendment 2 Education Brief
  9. Safe Schools
  10. Lobbying Tips
We suggest you read thoroughly the introductory sections which precede the state-by-state analysis. We suggest you study the sample letters at the end of the California section. We think you'll find all the appendices very handy, so familiarize yourself with their contents for future reference. Of course, youll want to study the section for your own state (and provide us with feedback, please!) Texas contains a great report by the Austin Human Rights Commission. The state of Massachusetts is a LEADER in providing inclusion of LGBT information via curricular policy, so study it as a MODEL. Lastly, we encourage you to look at the "current context" section for each state. There you will spot trends and commonalities which may assist you in developing strategies for your own state.

This manual is a work in progress. We rushed to release it so that those wishing to become active in advocating for educational equity for LGBT people might have the benefit of the useful information it contains ASAP. HOWEVER, IT IS FAR FROM PERFECT. We'd like to think it is perfectible, though, with YOUR input. Contact us with updates, corrections, additions, revisions, critiques, etc. Please provide constructive criticism-- we welcome that. We are all volunteers, so be gentle with your feedback. Thanks! And thanks for doing this work...together we shall make the world a better place for the next generations. As activists for educational equity for LGBT people, we are devising new realities every day, so let us share our newly created worlds with one another.

This manual is a compilation of a vast amount of information from widely varying sources. David Marshall, as Directory Coordinator, gathered information from each state. Robert Kaplan,as head of the Sacramento Project, developed the information for California. Jessea Greenman searched gophers and Web sites of state DOEs, as well as compiling information re media, allies and youth organizations, and writing the introduction. Parts of it should, we hope, prove useful even to the seasoned activist, if that person has never done educational equity organizing. Much of it should prove useful to those relatively new to activism. Do not let the sheer volume of information contained here deter you from this work. We merely wanted to put everything we had together for you in one place so you wouldn't have to try to assemble your own resources. We do believe you will find it all useful, sooner or later, but initially just familiarize yourself with its various sections so you will have an idea where to locate what you want later when you need it.

Please keep in mind that this document is only as good as the information provided. In particular, THE FOLLOWING STATES FAILED TO RESPOND TO OUR INQUIRIES. Although four and sometimes five letters were sent to the Departments of Education of these states, no response was ever received.

ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, COLORADO, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, OREGON, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, UTAH, WASHINGTON, AND WEST VIRGINIA

There ARE write-ups for these states, however, based on information obtained from other sources. Activists in the above states are hereby put on notice that their educational bureaucracies are decidedly uncooperative, certainly to those from outside the state identifying as LGBT. [LGBT is used throughout the document to stand for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender].

Please note that capitalization is used frequently throughout this document for emphasis, since it is the only form of emphasis that remains intact after reformatting, emailing, etc., and we expect this document to be distributed extensively by electronic means. Other forms of emphasis, such as underlining and bold letters, are also used, since some people will be accessing this manual via hard copy.

Next Section of the Introduction

Last updated 4/10/2002 by Jean Richter, richter@eecs.Berkeley.EDU