SAFE SCHOOLS — and Pflag

PFLAG Then & Now…40 Years of Family and Ally Voices

August is Back-To-School month, and we’re taking a 40th Anniversary look at the history of safe schools work, from support to education to advocacy!
When PFLAG was founded, 40 years ago, its focus was to help parents, families, friends, and allies show support and love for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) loved ones. As the organization has grown over the years, it’s been able to expand its mission to include community education and advocacy work, ensuring that all individuals enjoy support, safety, and equal rights in their communities. In recent years, disparities in equality and the need for an accepting community has become more and more apparent in our nation’s schools. According to the GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, nine out of ten LGBT students experience bullying, harassment, and discrimination in school; actions which can often have severe consequences on these students’ mental health and well being.

When the first small group of parents met back in March 1973, there was rarely any acknowledgement of LGBT students in their educational settings. Homophobia, transphobia  and discrimination were rampant, and it took an unthinkable amount of courage to come out while still in school. In response to this environment of hate, parents, families and allies began working to ensure that students would not have to hide their true identities in order to enjoy a safe learning environment. Through their efforts and the unique family and ally voice of the PFLAG community, progress was made in ensuring the safety of students and acknowledging the need to protect LGBT equality in schools.
For more on Pflag and Safe Schools, go to  Pflag’s National Blogsite,  http://blog.pflag.org/
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