Students who are harassed or who feel unsafe at school have higher absence rates and lower GPAs than those who believe their classroom is safe and affirming of who they are. While this is true for all students, it is particularly devastating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. In recent surveys a staggering 92% of LGBT-identified youth said they regularly hear negative messages about being LGBTQ in school, and LGBTQ students of color said their sexuality and gender identity are the most common reasons they feel unsafe at school.
This has to stop, and as educators we have the power to lead the fight. We believe that every Teach For America teacher, alum, and staff member can be an advocate for LGBTQ students in the communities where we teach, who regularly face the triple stigma of race, poverty, and sexual and/or gender identity.
Teach For America has partnered with the two most prominent national LGBTQ youth organizations, The Trevor Project and GLSEN, on the S.A.F.E. Project, which provides resources to help teachers create learning environments that are safe and affirming for everyone. By pledging to create S.A.F.E. environments, educators can access a series of materials and trainings to help them support their students. We're also working with these organizations to create region-specific trainings for our corps members. We know we can create classrooms where students feel safe and included and can reach their true potential.
Help Create S.A.F.E. Classrooms
- Take the pledge to show your support. If you're an educator, use the resources in your classrooms.
- "Like" the site and share it on Facebook. Tweet about the project using #safeclassrooms.
- Spread the word to other educators and allies you know.
- Watch and share Teach For America's "It Gets Better" video.
It Gets Better: Teach For America
A message from Teach For America corps members, alumni, and staff to young people who may be suffering from harassment.