News Archive

Latest News

GLSEN’s Ally Week

We are offering a free stream of our film Straightlaced for GLSEN’s Ally Week (a national week of action where students organize in order to identify new allies to LGBT youth).

Respect for All Project Institute

We are hosting a training on November 8 – 9, 2014 to provide professional development in creating inclusive, safe schools and communities for young people of all identities and cultures.

Gender Colloquium Series

The Lebanon Valley College 2014-15 Colloquium Series on Gender will present Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff in a campus residency from Nov. 3 – 7. 

Respect for All Workshops

Neag School Hosts Respect for All Workshops to Improve School Inclusivity

A New Partnership with Welcoming Schools

Our Respect for All Project has a new screening kit for parent groups and PTAs to address bullying issues.

Spreading the Word about Children’s Savings Accounts with A Foot in the Door

We’re collecting impact stories from organizations that are using our short film about Kindergarten to College to inspire local leaders to start their own children’s savings account programs.

Finishing up The Back Story

Debra Chasnoff and Kim Klausner remember the early 1980s when they made the first film about women having kids as out lesbians. A bonus feature for the soon-to-be-rereleased Choosing Children DVD.

Articles By Us

Why We Can’t ‘Just Say No’ To Bullying

 Debra Chasnoff questions the messaging in the popular film Bully, expressing concern about the lack of explicit messaging about homophobia and the impact on the film on youth are are seriously at risk for attempting suicide.

The President Gets a ‘B’ on Bullying — Grading The White House Conference

Debra Chasnoff issues a report card on the Obama Administration’s conference on bullying – analyzing and recommending areas for improvement.

‘Getting Real’ About Bullying-Related Suicides

Debra Chasnoff examines the recent spate of suicides committed by young people as a result of bullying, and discusses actions schools can take to prevent such tragedies.

Breaking the Silence on Bullying

After speaking at the Matthew Shepard Symposium, Debra Chasnoff asks how much has changed since he was murdered?

Media Coverage

Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day: Stories of Pride and Family – Huffington Post

What you can do to stop bullying

Bullying is a serious problem. Article by Great Schools.

St. Ambrose presents gender documentary

Straightlaced – How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up will be shown as part of St. Ambrose University’s Exploring Gender, a yearlong series investigating the social construction of gender through the arts, sciences and humanities.

Choosing Children Reviews

Reviews in Bay WindowsPhilly Gay NewsWindy City Times say Choosing Children is a must for all LGBT libraries and same sex couple baby showers! 

Arkansas teacher uses Let’s Get Realgets reprimanded for addressing bullying, then resigns.

Free Streaming Promotion with GLSEN

We are proud to partner once again with GLSEN, (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network). This fall GroundSpark is presenting a special offer as part of Ready, Set, Respect! GLSEN’s Elementary School Toolkit.

For the first time, you can stream the educator training version of our acclaimed film It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School and receive a 50% discount off of the full two-DVD set and curriculum guide, along with GLSEN’s toolkit.

Debra Chasnoff and GroundSpark featured on ABC7’s Profiles of Excellence

In a prominent spot on ABC7’s Profiles of Excellence series highlighting Bay Area luminaries, Debra Chasnoff discussed her Oscar-winning filmmaking and groundbreaking social justice work with Kristen Sze.

Don’t miss this exciting coverage of GroundSpark and the Respect for All Project on ABC7 (our segment starts five minutes into the video clip).

GroundSpark hits Il Manifesto

Check out the article published in Il Manifesto about the inspiration gained through Debra Chasnoff’s presence at the Bologna Lesbian Film Festival back in September. Read why, even in a “culturally and socially sophisticated” nation, many Italian lesbians still believe family is not an option.

GroundSpark’s approach to gender non-conformity highlighted in San Francisco Chronicle follow up to hate crime.

Will San Francisco’s Kindergartener Bank Accounts Catch On?

A Foot in the Door featured in’s article on San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College program

On the Bully Pulpit

Eugene Oregon’s newspaper, the Register Guard published an article about a “teach out” session held at the Eugene School District’s Education Center that brought together student leaders from local middle and high schools. Debra Chasnoff spoke to the students and showed clips from “Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up.”



Media Won’t Let Public Forget Billionaire’s Attack on “It’s Elementary”

Billionaire Mitt Romney backer Frank Vandersloot attacked GroundSpark’s film “It’s Elementary” over a decade ago. It’s back in the news (and so are we) – as a recent article on BoingBoing describes Vandersloot’s attempts to silence his critics and whitewash his past.

Idaho Agenda Highlights Chasnoff’s Defense of “It’s Elementary”

The Idaho Agenda published GroundSpark President Debra Chasnoff’s public response to Frank VanderSloot, funder of a 1999 billboard campaign mischaracterizing the GroundSpark film It’s Elementary. Recent debate was stirred after a article describing VanderSloot’s political activities.

Clashes Pit Parents vs. Gay-Friendly Curriculums in Schools

This NY Times article summarizes the debate over providing gay-friendly curriculum in public schools and the role GroundSpark has played in the debate locally and nationally. Read the article…

National Partners Sign On To Straightlaced Outreach Campaign

Over 15 national education, advocacy, and youth welfare organizations are working with GroundSpark to ensure that Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up is screened all over the country.

Hear Debra Chasnoff on KCRW Discussing LGBT History in California Schools

Listen to GroundSpark President and Senior Producer Debra Chasnoff on a recent KCRW radio program, discussing the new law making California the first state in the nation to require lessons about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public schools.

That’s A Family! Stirs Debate at a Nova Scotia School After Screening is Cancelled

At a school in Nova Scotia, Canada, controversy is stirred after GroundSpark’s film That’s a Family! was pulled from the school’s first Family Diversity Week event. Parent Sarah Ronahan says “I was completely open to the idea and I am quite disappointed the school did not show the video”; watch the video for more.

Applause From the Bay Times

The Bay Times singled out GroundSpark’s Debra Chasnoff as one of “three extraordinary directors” whose films shone at Frameline 2011, where our newest film, Celebrating the Life of Del Martin, received its debut. Read more …

Oscar-winning director defends anti-bullying message in three films being shown in Vallejo schools

We’re not surprised by how some parents reacted to GroundSpark’s educational films depicting gay and lesbian families. “We have seen this kind of reaction in other communities at different times, and I think it’s because it is relatively new that schools would take the initiative to proactively prevent anti-gay bias,” said Chasnoff… read the article here (PDF).

“Boys will be boys, or will they? school asks”

“And before that, students watched Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, a documentary that about young adult’s views of sexuality, emotion, …” Read the Riverdale Press article here

Editorial: Bullying Is Everyone’s Problem

This editorial relies on facts and figures from Groundspark and it quotes results from a recent Bay Area survey that finds that “two of every three Sikh boys in middle school — with or without turbans — said they suffered some sort of racial or religious bullying.” Read more… (PDF)

Review of Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up – North of Center Newspaper Lexington, KY

“Powerful….Inspiring…deals with the lives of questioning, intelligent, and courageous young people…. a wonderful exploration of the possibilities being imagined by young people today, and a challenge to the hate and prejudice toward people who are perceived as not conforming to these strict gender and sexual roles.” … read the review here

C.A.R.E. Shows Documentary to Urge Community to Support Anti-Gay Bullying Curriculum in Schools – Alameda Patch

Community gathers to watch ‘It’s Elementary‘ and to explore ways to end anti-gay bullying in Alameda public schools …read the article

Rescreening of ‘Choosing Children’ Documentary Demonstrates Landmark Contribution by Judge Hitchens – Courtside

Bay Area organizations gathered for an emotional rescreening of the landmark documentary ‘Choosing Children,’… read the article

“New Efforts to Fight Anti-Gay Bullying” (Straightlaced)

EDGE, “the largest network of local Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) news and entertainment portals in the world,” interviewed Debra Chasnoff about GroundSpark’s work to end bullying and harassment in schools and featured the piece in EDGE Boston. The article highlights not only Straightlaced, but the work of GroundSpark and GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network. To read the article, please click here

See, You Can Wear Your Fairy Wings to School! (Straightlaced)

Writer for The Huffington Post, Isobel White, discusses her reaction to traditional gender roles after seeing the premiere of Straightlaced. Read the touching story here.

“In Their Own Words” – Curve Magazine (Straightlaced)

The best-selling lesbian magazine features a piece about the new film–click here to read the article.

Debra Chasnoff on Birmingham, AL Public Radio

Ten years after Alabama Public Television censored the broadcast of It’s Elementary – Talking About Gay Issues in School, three public screenings of It’s STILL Elementary helped spark a new dialogue and state-wide effort to address the impact of homophobia among youth. In partnership with the newly formed Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Equality Alabama, PFLAG Alabama, and the Civil Rights Memorial Center, screenings and panel discussions took place in Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, and Birmingham. Click here to listen to Debra on Birmingham Public Radio.

KHTV Television Coverage of Let’s Get Real; WTDN Coverage

The Respect For All Project received television coverage on local TV stations in Little Rock and Dayton, following a collaborative initiative to reach out to educators, youth-service providers and human service professionals.

KTHV Little Rock Coverage of the Respect For All Project

WDTN Dayton Coverage of the Respect For All Project

Windy City Times: Slain Calif. Teen Hate-Crime Victim

The young, gay victim of a California school shooting has died after allegedly being shot by a 14-year-old classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. Charges have been filed to investigate the matter as a hate crime.
Click here to read the full article

National Public Radio: “New Life for a School Film on Gay Tolerance” (It’s STILL Elementary)

It’s STILL Elementary was featured on NPR news at the 10th anniversary of It’s Elementary


Press Releases and Newsletters

Teaching Sex Ed Just Got Easier

Each year teachers of all kinds are tasked with implementing the National Sexuality Education Standards. That’s where Straightlaced comes in.

An Important New Initiative From A GroundSpark Partner

GroundSpark is proud to partner with Read Me Differently, an award-winning documentary directed by Sarah Entine, MSW.

No Name Calling Week 2015

For the last ten years, Groundspark has proudly partnered with the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for No Name-Calling Week, a week dedicated to celebrating kindness and working to create safe schools free of name-calling, bullying and bias.


Free Streaming and Major Price Discount for National No Name Calling Week 2014.

We are proud to partner with GLSEN with this special offer.

Launching a New Program for Parents and Guardians

Addressing Bullying and Building a Positive School Climate

Study Proves We Were Right! and Other Spring News

Check out our Spring Newsletter

We’ve Moved to The Hub!

GroundSpark has a new home! After 18 years we have moved our offices. And it’s exciting! Read the Newsletter…

Marriage Equality in New York: It’s Elementary!

GroundSpark responds to news of marriage equality in New York. Read the Newsletter…

Bringing You Up to Date on Transitions at GroundSpark

In 2011, GroundSpark responded to challenges with significant changes to its organizational model. Read the Newsletter…

National Partners Sign On To Straightlaced Outreach Campaign

Over 15 national education, advocacy, and youth welfare organizations are working with GroundSpark to ensure that Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up is screened all over the country.
View the Press Release…

GroundSpark Responds to Teen Suicides By Offering Free Award-winning films and curricula to address anti-gay bullying

GroundSpark, the national nonprofit behind Academy Award-winner Debra Chasnoff’s highly acclaimed anti-bullying documentaries, is catalyzing school communities to address stigma connected to sexual orientation and gender roles by providing conversation-starting films and curriculum guides for free until the end of November.
View the Press Release…

Groundspark celebrates 10th anniversary of release of Groundspark film It’s Elementary

GroundSpark announced events celebrating the 10th anniversary and upcoming re-release on DVD of It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School. The groundbreaking documentary was the first film to show how elementary and middle school teachers can facilitate age-appropriate classroom discussions that include awareness about gay and lesbian people.
View the Press Release…