Surveys, comprehensive studies, and the like are discussed, but at this site you will be able to see the study in progress and read the results. The idea for this project started a few years ago when I, George DeCarlo, asked the New Jersey Department of Education if they had any information concerning a database with nondiscrimination statements and the public school districts. But, they had nothing and thought there were only a few districts in New Jersey that had "affectional or sexual orientation" in their nondiscrimination statements. It is not that low but the situation needs improvement in this state. For your information, all New Jersey public school districts are locally controlled and the Department of Education can only advise unless they are given powers to take over a school district. Home Rule is the state of affairs in New Jersey. Many New Jersey school districts are ignoring the law passed in 1992 amending the Law Against Discrimination (LAD).
At a Task Force on Same-Sex Marriage meeting, I was asked about the situation in New Jersey and told them of my interest and inquiries. I had heard of others thinking and perhaps starting research but nothing after several years was accomplished. So I said I would do it. FASOD was born, actually the name came from an investigator in the bias crimes division in NJ's Department of Law and Public Safety when I complained about the lack of participation in a forum on hate in my county. The investigator then included "us" and the group name was chosen for the brochure.
What I have told people is that we need documentation of what is going on in this state and the country. Clear documentation that is very time consuming and tedious is the evidence that can be displayed and used. Fast polls and quick articles will not be the history needed for change.
Friends Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination was formed in order to discover current nondiscrimination practices of New Jersey institutions and agencies. The initial survey project will determine whether or not the 594 public school districts have "affectional or sexual orientation" as a category in their displayed nondiscrimination statements. Results of the project will be made public on an ongoing basis as each county is completed. The information will enable further research & knowledge in this area.
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