Subject: strictly fyi: student discipline, preservice teacher education, homeless youth, elementary lesson plan contest, therapy to "change" sexual orientation
From: "Reis, Beth" <>
Date: 6/4/2012 5:40 PM

Dear Safe Schools Coalition Members and Friends:


(1) U.S. Department of Education Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion

(2) DePaul University and Facing History and Ourselves Form Strategic Partnership to Educate Current and Future Teachers [about bias]

(3) 1000+ homeless Youth Counted in King County, WA

(4) The Welcoming Schools Best Lesson Plan Contest – deadline July 15th

(5) Psychiatrist Robert Spitzer discusses the fatal flaws in his oft-cited research about therapies changing people’s sexual orientations




(1) U.S. Department of Education Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion


On May 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education issued a publication that outlines principles for educators, parents and other stakeholders to consider

when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion.


The goal of this resource document is to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy environments where all students can learn, develop and participate in instructional programs that promote high levels of academic achievement.


“As education leaders, our first responsibility must be to make sure that schools foster learning in a safe environment for all of our children and teachers,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “I believe this document is an important step toward this goal. I also want to salute leaders in Congress for their vigilance on this issue.”


The 15 principles that frame the document ultimately highlight how schoolwide behavioral interventions can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of restraint or seclusion. These guiding principles offer states, districts and other education leaders a framework for developing appropriate policies related to restraint and seclusion to ensure the safety of adults and children.


“Ultimately, the standard for educators should be the same standard that parents use for their own children,” Duncan added. “There is a difference between a brief time out in the corner of a classroom to help a child calm down and locking a child in an isolated room for hours. This really comes down to common sense.”


The document also provides a synopsis of ongoing efforts by federal agencies to address national concerns about using restraint and seclusion in schools, and includes links to state restraint and seclusion policies and procedures.


To access this document, click here:




(2) DePaul University and Facing History and Ourselves Form Strategic Partnership to Educate Current and Future Teachers [about bias]


Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. For more information about the organization, visit and watch a video at


In a multiyear collaboration between DePaul University and Facing History and Ourselves, all students in DePaul's College of Education will use Facing History's acclaimed resources, materials, and classroom strategies on civic engagement. The first-of-its-kind partnership has the potential to impact thousands of students in coming years. For more about the project, click here:




(3) 1000+ homeless Youth Counted in King County, WA


On May 16th, 19 community partners banded together for Count Us In, a point in time count of unstably housed youth in the King County area. Thanks to a tremendous community effort, Count Us In had record participation of 1,132 youth and young adults ages 13-25 throughout Seattle and King County.


The goal of Count Us In is to gain a clearer understanding of the number of young people without a stable place to live on any given night in King County. There is a noticeable dearth of national and local data on the number, patterns, and characteristics of homeless youth. The One Night Count, a King County-wide effort to track homeless individuals, found only 34 homeless youth under the age of 18 in King County in 2011. Direct experience told community providers those numbers didn’t add up to the amount of youth seen in homeless youth programs. In response, Teen Feed sponsored the inaugural Count Us In effort on May 25, 2011, the first point-in-time count of homeless youth and young adults in the Pacific Northwest involving seven partner agencies and counting 374 unstably housed youth.


The 2nd Annual Count Us In effort was notable, including 19 community partners and incorporating 21 count sites in Seattle and King County, with 1,132 youth completing housing surveys. Count Us In partners surveyed youth, organized meal sites and events, and produced targeted communications to youth without a safe and permanent home to be counted.


Sponsorship from United Way of King County and a partnership with the City of Seattle were instrumental in the community effort. The United Way of King County will produce a full report and analysis of the 2012 Count Us In effort in July 2012.


Thank you to thank fellow University District service providers, ROOTS Youth & Young Adult Shelter, Sanctuary Arts Center, and Street Youth Ministries staff for helping to survey youth at Teen Feed. Special thanks to Nat Crave, Etta’s Restaurant and Seatown SeaBar & Lounge for preparing and serving an outstanding Teen Feed meal for Count Us In efforts.




(4) The Welcoming Schools Best Lesson Plan Contest – deadline July 15th


All over the country, K-5 educators are developing innovative strategies to help students. That’s why Welcoming Schools is excited to announce the Best Lesson Plan Contest!


The contest provides an opportunity for talented educators to share original lesson plans that address Welcoming Schools’ themes of embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping and ending bias-based name-calling and bullying.


Five contest winners will receive a $200 Amazon gift card and a full set of Welcoming Schools materials including books, posters and a copy of our new professional development film, What Do You Know? Six to twelve year olds talk about gays and lesbians!


All lesson plans must be submitted by 5pm EDT on July 15th.

Find out more about the contest and submit your lesson plan today!




(5) Psychiatrist Robert Spitzer discusses the fatal flaws in his oft-cited research about therapies changing people’s sexual orientations


Watch Historic Video Now from the organization Truth Wins Out.


This is their message about the video, followed by a transcript of the interview with Dr. Spitzer:


In 1973, Dr. Robert Spitzer led the charge to successfully have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which is its list of mental disorders. This was a major victory and remains one the gay movement's signature achievements.


Given his stature and key role in declassifying gay people as sick, it was quite a surprise when Dr. Spitzer published a non-peer reviewed 2001 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that claimed some "highly motivated" gay people could reach their "heterosexual potential" through prayer and therapy. When he announced his work at the 2001 APA meeting in New Orleans, it created a media sensation. An Associated Press story called his findings "explosive."


In 2012, Dr. Spitzer recanted in the American Prospect magazine and in a letter to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, obtained by Truth Wins Out, Dr. Spitzer asked that his study be withdrawn. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show and the New York Times covered his apology.


Last week, TWO's Wayne Besen and filmmaker Lisa Darden interviewed Dr. Spitzer at his Princeton, NJ home. This exclusive interview is the first time Spitzer has been videotaped speaking in-depth about his change of heart.

"This is an historic moment and it was crucial that we recorded it for posterity," said Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen. "It was also critical that we had Dr. Spitzer directly confront anti-gay organizations by name to make it difficult for them to distort his study without undermining their credibility."

Here are excerpts from Wayne Besen and Lisa Darden's interview with Dr. Robert Spitzer:


What do you have to say about the conclusions of your 2001 study?


"I was quite wrong in the conclusions that I made from this study. The study does not provide evidence, really, that gays can change. And that's quite an admission on my part."


What made you go public with your change of heart?


"If I really have all these doubts about the study, I had to face up to whether I had a responsibility to acknowledge that."


Is there a message you would like to impart to the LGBT community?


"I've been thinking about the study for many years. I felt that I needed to say that, the study is not valid, but I thought I should also say to the gay community, I apologize for any harm I have done to them because of the study and my initial interpretation. And I certainly apologize to any gay person who because of this study entered into reparative therapy and wasted their time and energy doing that."


It took you two years to find a mere 200 study subjects, even though NARTH's Dr. Joseph Nicolosi was trying to influence the study by begging clients to participate. Why do you think it was so difficult for NARTH to provide you with "ex-gays"?


"He [Nicolosi] just didn't have many patients who could really claim that they had changed."


Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) is still misusing your study and a video featuring you remains prominently placed on the group's website. Would you like to address PFOX?


"I ask that PFOX stop showing this video. This is quite misleading. I had no way, really, of knowing when I examined any particular subject whether they really had changed or whether they were deceiving themselves or even outright lying when they claimed that they had changed. So, please don't show this [video] to anyone."


The retraction of your study must be very upsetting to anti-gay organizations.


"I'm curious as to whether they have said anything or how they live with the fact that the one study that they have always been citing has now been taken away from them. I would think that's a pretty rough place to be in."


Is the "Ex-Gay" Industry capable of unbiased research on homosexuality?


"The people who are pushing the 'ex-gay' idea are so full of hatred for homosexuality, really, that I don't think they can respond in an ethical way."


What are your thoughts on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE)?


"If people can recognize that being a homosexual is something that cannot be changed and that efforts to change are going to be disappointing and can be harmful, if that can be more widely known that would be very good. If somebody is troubled that they are homosexual, what they ought to do is face up to that and so something so they are more comfortable living with the way they are, because any attempt to change is misguided."  




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Speakers Bureau



Beth Reis, Public Health - Seattle & King County, 206-296-4970
Michelle Munro, not representing a member org
Mo Lewis, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
Matthew Wilson, Oasis/Pierce County AIDS Foundation



Heather Carter, Youth Suicide Prevention Program
Frank Couch, Science & Management of Addictions Foundation
Penny Palmer, not representing a member org


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