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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Study: WYO Gay and Lesbian Parents Feel Excluded at School

March 3, 2008

Cheyenne, WY – Going to PTA meetings, scheduling conferences with teachers and volunteering at the school. That's how gay and lesbian parents in Wyoming are more likely than other parents to be involved with their child's school, according to a first-ever report issued by civil rights groups. But even though the parents are active in the schools – they almost always feel ignored, or that they have been excluded from school activities. Jennifer Chrisler with the Family Equality Council says gay and lesbian parents shouldn't give up, though.

"When people get to know us, then they understand us and it makes it easier for teachers, and administrators, and other parents to support our children in that school environment."

About one-quarter of gay and lesbian parents surveyed said they had been harassed or mistreated by other parents, or by students, in the past year.

Researcher Dr. Joe Kosciw says "safe schools" policies that clearly rule out harassment based on sexual orientation or perceived orientation, seem to address the concerns in the report.

"Students who attend schools like that report that it's a better climate, and we found parents were more likely to feel included."

You can read the full report online at www.glsen.org.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WY