U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with senior staff, will participate in the White House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Conference on Safe Schools and Communities on Tuesday, March 20, at the University of Texas in Arlington. Duncan will deliver remarks by video. The Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Michael Yudin will participate in a panel discussion on safe schools, and Bob Kim, senior counselor at the Department, will moderate the panel. Deborah Temkin, research and policy coordinator for bullying prevention initiatives; Angela Hights, chief regional attorney; Leticia Soto, senior attorney; and Phyllis Scattergood, education specialist—all from the Department—will conduct afternoon workshops on bullying/cyberbullying prevention, federal legal protections for LGBT students, model K-12 policies and procedures, and safety and inclusion on college campuses, respectively. Attorney General Eric Holder and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will give keynote remarks. Additionally, Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard, a student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered in 1998 by two men because of his sexual orientation, will deliver remarks during the closing session.
In addition to the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice and the University of Texas at Arlington are hosting the Texas event. The morning plenary sessions will be streamed live at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.
The White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities is part of a series of conferences that will be held around the country specifically focused on LGBT students. These conferences will provide grassroots leaders, community organizers, advocates, students, and interested citizens an opportunity to hear directly from the Administration about efforts to ensure equal access to education for these students as it does for all students.
NOTE: Media representatives who wish to cover the morning session must pre-credential by emailing their names, titles, organizations, positions and contact information to [email protected] by 1 p.m. ET today, Monday, March 19.