Feds Promote Rainbow Badges for Teachers, Staff at Public Schools to Identify as LGBT ‘Allies’

By Penny Starr | May 9, 2016 | 2:16 PM EDT

 

The federal government’s anti-bullying website posted a blog last month touting the OUT for Safe Schools program started by homosexual activists in the Los Angeles, Calif., public schools where “rainbow badges” are worn by teachers and staff to identify them as “allies” of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender students.

“School continues to be a dangerous place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth,” said the April 19 blog, which was written by staff from the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Department of Education.

The blog said that 30,000 rainbow badges were provided to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers, administrators and staff “to wear voluntarily that proudly identify themselves as allies and protectors of students who are LGBT.”

“Despite increased public acceptance of LGBT people in general, many school campuses remain toxic environments for LGBT students, contributing to higher rates of suicide, depression, homelessness and HIV infection,” Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

"Since its launch, OUT for Safe Schools has enriched the lives of both students and staff members in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” LAUSD’s Board President Steve Zimmer is quoted as saying in the blog. “A whopping 30,000 of our employees—representing one-third of LAUSD’s entire staff—pledged to be visible allies of LGBT students by wearing the rainbow-designed badges.

“I have worn mine every day—there is nothing I am more proud to wear,” Zimmer said. “I applaud my district for stepping up to the plate and keeping all of our schools a safer space.

“No child should ever be bullied, taunted or harassed simply because they’re different,” Zimmer said.

The blog also quoted an 18-year-old “self-identified” “genderqueer” graduate of a Los Angeles high school.

“These badges are a visible reminder to LGBT students that we are not alone, and for many, this reminder will quite literally save their lives,” Noah Jenkins said.

The blog said that the program has now expanded to be included in public schools in New York, Chicago, Boston, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Duval County, Florida and Washington, D.C. – “reaching 2.5 million students in grades K-12.”

“The OUT for Safe Schools badges were part of a larger comprehensive effort by these districts to support LGBT students that includes training teachers and school staff, supporting (Gay Straight Alliance) GSA clubs, and working to engage parents and families to increase support,” the blog said.