The Safe Schools Project is PERSAD CENTER’s advocacy effort to improve the experience of LGBTQ youth who attend schools in our region.
We are concerned about the high rate of teen suicide among LGBTQ youth — reported to be 3-4 times higher than other youth. We are concerned about the high rate of LGBTQ youth homelessness, where our youth are 5-6 times overrepresented among the runaway and homeless youth populations. We are tired of hearing youth report daily abuse from bullying that goes unreported -- or worse -- unaddressed in our schools, and is often the trigger for suicidal and runaway behaviorjs.
In spite of significant investments in anti-bullying programs and projects in our region, which appear to have positively impacted to reduce bullying behavior overall, the issue of bullying related to sexual orientation and gender remains unaddressed and not impacted.
The Safe Schools Project is a collaboration between PERSAD CENTER, PFLAG-Pittsburgh, and GLSEN-Pittsburgh and others who are also concerned and committed to effecting change.
Launched in 2013 at the Safe Schools Summit, outlining the concerns and issues, the Safe Schools Project has several components:
- Engagement of allies who will join with us to address these issues
- A research project with allies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh to document the nature of the local problem
- Training/Education for educators, school personnel, and students
- Projects and solutions to impact on the problems and effect real change
If you would like a training program for your school, contact Melissa Perkins at 1-866-873-7723 ext. 214
If you are interested in joining the Safe Schools effort, contact Sarah Rosso at 1-866-873-7723 ext. 218