Where would the federal government be if it couldn't get its grubby hands into everything, including promoting LGBT-activism in public schools.
The Fed's anti-bullying initiative is now pushing its new "OUT for Safe Schools" program in which teachers and staff are encouraged to wear "rainbow badges" to identify them as "allies" of the LGBT community.
"School continues to be a dangerous place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth," states a blog post on the OUT program's site. CNS provides additional details:
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.
No one should be bullied or taunted for simply being who they are, and faculty should most definitely ensure that all students remain safe from harm. But this is the real world, and kids are harassed at school for a lot less all the time and always will be. Heck, I was tormented all through my school days for having any number of traits deemed "unpopular" including being quiet and nerdy; for having black hair when most of peers were blonde; for being shorter than the average kid in my class; for not rolling up my school uniform shorts as high as they could go (that was a real fashion trend back in my school), and so on. Is it fun to grow up that way? No. Did I survive? Yes. And these kids will, too.
They may even grow up the tougher for it, but heaven forbid we let that happen. Life is not a "safe space" and I'm not quite sure what reality we are preparing kids for when we set unreasonable expectations of how said life will treat them.
For the record, this new OUT program has expanded to schools in New York, Chicago, Boston, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Duval County, Florida and Washington, D.C., according to the report. That's "2.5 million students in grades K-12."