A Statement on the March 25 GLSEN Conference- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Family & Community

A Statement on the March 25 GLSEN Conference

Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll

Malden -- The following is a statement issued today by Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll on concerns raised about the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) annual conference held March 25 at Tufts University.

"I have completed my investigation and concluded all internal meetings and would like to announce the following:

Of the two Department of Education employees involved in the workshops held at the GLSEN conference, one has resigned and the other was dismissed today. The third individual involved in the workshop had a service contract with the Department. This contract was terminated as of yesterday.

As I stated earlier, I have taken steps to ensure that this type of situation will not occur again under my watch. The Department is committed to programs that provide information and education to help students minimize the terrible consequences of risky behavior in the areas of substance abuse, violence and sexuality. In all of these areas, the Department's role will be to provide as extensive training and information as possible to those adults who are most consistently in the lives of students, that is parents first, then teachers, health educators, guidance counselors, administrators, coaches and medical professionals. Our role will not be to interact directly with students on issues related to sexuality.

The reason we are committed to effective AIDS/HIV prevention education is because it works for young people.

According to recent survey data of high school students in Massachusetts, the receipt of AIDS/HIV education is associated with significantly lower levels of sexual activity among high school students, and higher levels of communication between children and their parents and other family members. It is also associated with lower levels of risky behavior by students who are sexually active. Effective age-appropriate school-based AIDS/HIV education, which the Commonwealth supports, is very important to the lives of our students.

I am committed to providing responsible technical assistance to school districts for AIDS/HIV prevention and other programs that work to reduce or eliminate those behaviors that put students at risk of harm or injury."

Last Updated: May 19, 2000

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