L.A. School District Launches Campaign to ‘Blow the Whistle’ on Anti-LGBT Bullying

Blow the Whistle on hate image
Blow the Whistle on hate image

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is launching this year’s “OUT for Safe Schools” campaign, which will focus on P.E. classes and sports activities.

That’s because those activities are “where LGBT-related slurs, hazing and bullying can most often take place on a campus,” according to the press release. “In LAUSD, coaches will now be trained to address and intervene in those types of incidents.”

The OUT for Safe Schools initiative started last year, when LAUSD partnered with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Project SPIN (Suicide Prevention Intervention Now) program and distributed 30,0000 badges to district teachers and staff who wore them to indicate that they are people who LGBT youth can turn to if they need help feeling safe at school.

This year, Out for Safe School lanyards and whistles will be provided to all athletic coaches “to help blow the whistle on hate and create safe sports activities at schools,” the press release said.

Project SPIN has partnered with GLAAD to sponsor 1,000 lanyards, whistles and badges to give staff in the athletic department. Printed on the lanyard is “OUT for Safe schools” and “SPIRIT day.” Spirit Day, observed on October 16, is a day when many LGBT people and allies wear purple or change their online profile pictures to purple images to stand against bullying and to show support for LGBT youth.

“LAUSD athletics believes that our coaches and student athletes should blow the whistle on hate. Our coaches are role models and mentors for thousands of young men and women on our campuses participating in sports”, Trenton Cornelius, LAUSD coordinator of Interscholastic Athletics, said in the press release. “The student athletes often set the climate on campuses due to their high profile and we believe this group will play a major role in eliminating hate and bullying on our campuses.”