OUT for Safe Schools helps educators, administrators, and other school district employees “come out” as visible allies for LGBTQ students. As part of the program, participating staff wear badges identifying themselves as allies in order to make school a safer, more welcoming place.
OUT for Safe Schools launched in 2013 as part of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Project SPIN (Suicide Prevention Intervention Now) program. The initial campaign included a distribution of 30,000 badges to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers and staff to indicate they can be approached if an LGBT youth needs help to feel safe at school. In 2015, with support of the Center and Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), OUT for Safe Schools is expanding to nine school districts nationwide, reaching millions of students.
Despite increased public acceptance of LGBT people in general, many school campuses remain toxic environments for LGBTQ students, contributing to higher rates of suicide, depression, homelessness and HIV infection.
In LAUSD, we welcome, embrace, and support all students on their path to graduation. Our schools reflect the tolerance and acceptance we expect in our society.
Trans and queer youth who feel valued, important, and supported by out teachers, administrators, and staff are more likely to feel personally connected to school, invested in their own education and, ultimately, to reach out for help if they may need it.
"I have worn my badge every day—there is nothing I am more proud to wear. I applaud my district for stepping up to the plate and keeping all of our schools a safer space. No child should ever be bullied, taunted, or harassed."