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Safe Space Kit Helps Support LGBT Youth
Media Relations Manager
Educators Report GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit Helps Support LGBT Youth and Improve School Climate
Evaluation Conducted After First Year of Three-Year Campaign to Send Safe Space Kit to Every Middle and High School in the Country
NEW YORK (October 7, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, today released an evaluation of the impact of its Safe Space Kit. The evaluation surveyed educators who received GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit during a recent campaign to send Kits to every middle and high school in the country. The majority of the educators surveyed reported that the Kit increased their knowledge and skills regarding issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. Each Kit is made up of the Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students, two Safe Space posters and 10 Safe Space stickers.
According to Evaluation of GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit: The Utility of an Educator Resource for Improving School Climate for LGBT Youth, educators also engaged in efforts to support LGBT students. Three-quarters provided direct support to an LGBT student and intervened when witnessing anti-LGBT behavior, such as bullying and biased remarks, and nine in 10 taught about the importance of respecting all people.
Additionally, almost nine in 10 educators surveyed found all portions of the Kit to be useful. More than 90 percent read all or part of the Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students, while more than half displayed the Safe Space posters (65 percent) and displayed the Safe Space stickers (60 percent) or shared them with other staff (57 percent).
“The GLSEN Safe Space Kit was developed to build on the power of the iconic Safe Space Sticker by supporting educators who want to become informed and active allies to LGBT youth,” said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "It is encouraging to see that we have created a practical and useful resource that responds to educators’ realities. Yet, there is still so much work to be done. In schools where educators perceived a negative school climate or resistance from administrators, arguably the schools where visible allies could make the most dramatic difference, educators were less likely to display the posters. The hopeful news is that educators in these hostile environments were no less likely to reach out and educate other members of the school community, sowing the seeds of much-needed change.”
The evaluation found differences in how likely educators were to use the Kit and find it useful in their work based on existing school climate, administrative support, and whether they previously displayed visual support for LGBT students. In addition, educators who received training along with the Kit were more likely to use it, although there were no differences in how useful they rated the Kit, indicating that although training can enhance its value, the Kit can serve as a valuable resource without accompanying training.
The evaluation of GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit was funded by Wells Fargo. A printable version of the GLSEN Safe Space Kit is available free to download on GLSEN’s website.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.