From Publishers Weekly
In 1989, 30% of youth suicides were committed by homosexual teens, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Among the activists and service providers who were prompted to create outreach programs to gay youth are Jeff Perrotti and Kim Westheimer, coauthors of When the Drama Club Is Not Enough: Lessons from the Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students and the founding and current director (respectively) of the Massachusetts Department of Education initiative. They tell of their experiences with supporters, opponents, legislators, faculty, administrators and students, including one high school football team captain who sought the authors' advice on coming out to his team. (They strategized with coaches and administrators, and the captain won his teammates' support.) Numerous accounts and testimonies, not all of them happy, enliven this guide for introducing gay rights protection into schools.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
As employees of the Massachusetts Department of Education, Perrotti and Westheimer were challenged to create a program for the state's public schools that would promote a safe and welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian students in grades K-12. Working closely with teachers, administrators, students, and community leaders, they developed the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program, which has become a model for other states. As a result of their work as advocates, Perrotti and Westheimer assembled this handbook, featuring the poignant stories and practical strategies they learned along the way. Although this issue is addressed in other books, such as Donovan R. Walling's Open Lives, Safe Schools (Phi Delta Kappa Intl., 1996), this stands out because it focuses not on college students but on elementary through secondary school students and because of the authors' sheer optimism and enthusiasm. As they state in their introduction, "Plenty of scripts tell us what cannot be done. This book is about what can be done." For education, gender, and sociology collections. Kimberly L. Clarke, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.