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Educating youth about the LGBT community

WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
Amy Reynolds

The University at Buffalo's Anti-Bullying Center held a informational seminar on how to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered students across Western New York Thursday.

The seminar focused on how to reach out to youth and make them feel safe at their schools. The center pointed to studies that have also shown that students in the LGBT community miss a lot of school and have lower grades because of bullying.

UB's associate professor in the department of counseling Amy Reynolds spoke at the seminar. She said educating kids at a young age could prevent instances of bullying within the LGBT community.

"If a student is staying home on average of one day a month, because they don't feel safe that is an alarming statistic and one that should give all educators pause about the type of environments that are being created," said Reynolds.

Reynolds said creating Gay-Straight-Alliance groups have shown to help those being bullied.

"That is without a doubt the most powerful intervention, schools where there are gay-straight alliances there is less victimization and less reporting of hostile environment," said Reynolds.

There will be four seminars total this year, the next seminar is set to take place in April 19th.