Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making my office and room a 'Safe and Hate free zone' for LGBTQ youth

Like so many others, I'm saddened by the recent tragedies centering around LGBTQ in our country. As an adult who works with youth I want to do my best to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for all human beings. To that end and in support of "Ally Week," I am taking the action of creating a "Safe and Hate Free Zone" in and around my office. I posted the following sign in my office to let other people in our school know that they are welcome to come talk about issues, challenges, feelings, or anything else that is on their mind (related to LGBTQ issues or not, actually).

I also posted this sign in the space that I meet with my sophomore (students ages 15-16) advisory each Thursday afternoon. See the image below:

I'm proud to say that many of my colleagues will be doing the same by posting these signs in our classrooms and workspaces. In a show of support and solidarity, we want to let everyone know that bullying and hate will not be tolerated.

What are you doing to support LGBTQ and ALL youth in your school and community?

For more resources and to print out this flyer to post in your room, office, etc, visit http://www.glsen.org/. Click here to access the page with the direct link to the flyer that I posted in my office. You may also order an entire kit for your school for minimal cost.


  1. Good for you, Matt - I've got a similar sticker from GLSEN on my office door as well.

    Does your school have a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)? I'm a co-advisor for my school's GSA, and I'd go so far as to say that whether the club has 2 members or 20, the simple fact that it exists sends a pretty strong message of institutional support to GLBT youth in a school.

  2. Thanks for the comment and kind words, Damian. We do have a GSA at our school and it is quite active with a decent sized membership. Our GSA arranged for a panel from a local LGBTQ youth support center (http://www.defrankcenter.org/) to come on campus and give a panel presentation during lunch last week. It was quite inspiring to say the least-I had never hear of the 'safe space' concept until these youth were on campus. Such a simple, but important act and I'm glad that many of my colleagues are participating.