Safe Schools is a program of PFLAG NYC that brings speakers into schools to help create a learning and social environment that is free of harassment and that provides safety, dignity, and respect for all students, including those who are LGBT. Our speakers come from all backgrounds and include straight family and friends of LGBT people, as well as LGBT adults and youth, who bring a family perspective and personal stories in order to help teach about sexual orientation and gender identity and how to make the school environment safe and encouraging for all.
PFLAG NYC’s Safe Schools speaking programs are an effective tool to:
- Dispel myths and raise awareness about issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Encourage straight students, faculty, and parents to be allies to LGBT students and their families.
- Combat harassment and bullying and talk about civil rights and equality.
- Train faculty and staff to understand and approach LGBT issues respectfully and accurately.
- Give parents information about the physical and emotional health and well-being of students, so they can better understand LGBT issues as they may relate to the developing sexuality of their children and their children’s friends and peers.
- Help LGBT students find support in thinking about coming out to their parents, teachers, peers, and others, and encourage students to be themselves.
Safe Schools programs are lively, engaging, and promote tolerance and acceptance in an accessible way. In a typical program, one or more speakers tell their personal stories about their real-life experience of gay issues—for example, about how someone close to them came out, about being the parent of a LGBT child, about struggling with being gay and their own coming out, or about finding support in the community around them. Safe Schools speaking programs can be tailored to address a variety of important issues in your school, such as personal growth, community leadership, or becoming an ally.