Written By: Eric Rosswood 6/1/16
A new school in Atlanta gives students and teachers a safe place to learn and work regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
What if students could go to school and learn without the fear of being bullied? What if they could go to school without having to worry about which locker room or bathroom they were allowed to use? What if kids were allowed to go to school in a safe environment and just be kids? Imagine that.
Well, that’s what Pride School Atlanta is trying to accomplish. In the next school year, students and teachers will have a safe place to learn and work regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Their mission is simple:
To provide LGBTQQIAA students, families and educators a safe, fun and rigorous learning environment free of homophobia and transphobia – a place that honors their identities so they can be themselves, find themselves, and find friends and mentors who can help them navigate the challenges of life and education.
Pride School Atlanta is similar to the Harvey Milk High School in New York and Charter High School in the Los Angeles area, but it’s significant because it’s the first of its kind in the Southeast.
“There’s a number of kids who come from the South … migrating to places like New York and other cities because they feel like it’s more tolerant for them,” said Ross Murray, programs director, global and U.S. South, for GLAAD according to Online Athens.
“They should be able to stay in their homes, their communities. I think having a school like this in Atlanta … it means it’s much more regionally connected. If a student does need a place where they can be safe from bullying, from peers who want to harass or harm them, they’re not going to have to travel tons of distance to do that.”
According to a 2013 National School Climate Survey:
- 55.5% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 37.8% because of their gender expression.
- 30.3% of LGBT students missed at least one entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable, and over a tenth (10.6%) missed four or more days in the past month.
- Over a third avoided gender-segregated spaces in school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable
The Pride School Atlanta is currently accepting donations to help fund their school. If you are interested in helping them out, visit their website.
Source: The New Civil Rights Movement