The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the US, has announced the launch of a program to try and protect LGBT kids from bullying and from wanting to commit suicide.
LAUSD has teamed with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center for the effort called Project SPIN (Suicide Prevention Intervention Now).
'For too many young LGBT people, the ringing of the school bell connotes suffering instead of learning,' The Center's CEO Lorri Jean (pictured) said at a press conference this week. 'Many feel they must hide who they are, while others face merciless harassment and bullying - even violence -on the playground, in the classroom and in the locker room.'
Jean said that by collaborating with LAUSD, which includes 1,160 schools and more than 664,000 students, The Center is working 'to change the often intolerant, bullying culture of schools so that all kids feel safe.'
Project SPIN is the largest initiative of its kind with more than 20 partnering agencies. It will seek to train and educate people on such things as LGBT sensitivity and awareness and suicide prevention.
School administrators will receive training on making schools safer for LGBT students and teachers will be working to develop lesson plans about notable LGBT people in history. Parents can also get training on what to do if their child is being bullied or if he or she is bullying others.
'We are committed to creating safe, respectful campuses for LGBT students - and that is exactly what we are doing with Project SPIN,' said LAUSD Board of Education President Monica Garcia.