LAUSD Launches LGBT Bullying Prevention Campaign in Athletics

Campaign aimed at athletic directors, coaches, students

Sports activities and P.E. classes are the focus of the second year of the "OUT for Safe Schools" campaign, which encourages safe learning environments for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials, in partnership with an LGBT advocacy group, said Tuesday coaches will be trained to address and intervene if they hear LGBT-related slurs, see hazing or witness bullying on campus.

"Every single student, every athlete, every teacher, deserves to come to school and feel safe, and that’s what this program is about," David Garcia, director of policy and programming at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, said.

Administrators plan to distribute whistles and lanyards to coaches and athletic directors as a symbol of the effort to curb bullying against LGBT students and to create a safe environment for everyone to participate in sports activities.

Athletes were also encouraged to set a positive tone of the campaign for the rest of their classmates.

"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," said Trenton Cornelius, LAUSD's coordinator of interscholastic athletics.

The "OUT for Safe Schools" campaign launched last year when the group passed out 30,000 badges for district teachers and staff to wear as a sign to LGBT students they are available to help if needed.  

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