What Is the Safe Spaces Initiative?
Safe Spaces is a joint initiative of the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) and the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities (SACSC). The Safe Spaces Initiative comprises a poster, brochure and sticker designed to identify your classroom and/or school as a safe and inclusive space where lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified and queer (LGBTQ) students, teachers, friends, families and allies are welcome and supported.
Why Do LGBTQ Students Need Safe Spaces?
Contemporary research indicates that LGBTQ students often face discrimination and prejudice in their schools. As a result of this marginalization, many LGBTQ students experience higher rates of suicide, drug and alcohol use, smoking, and feelings of isolation and despair.
Students who feel unsafe in their school are less likely to learn, whereas students who perceive their schools as accepting, safe and welcoming spaces not only improve their grades and attendance but also feel more hopeful about their academic and personal future.
The ATA and SACSC Safe Spaces initiative focuses on three critical areas necessary to address discrimination and prejudice in schools: respecting human rights, respecting individuals and taking personal responsibility.
View the Safe Spaces Materials
The following Safe Spaces materials are available as PDF files that can be downloaded and printed in colour:
To order print copies of the Safe Spaces materials, contact Professional Development at 780-447-9400 (in Edmonton) or 1-800-232-7208 (toll free in Alberta) or e-mail DEHR@ata.ab.ca.
To find out more about ATA LGBTQ workshops and resources, contact the ATA Professional Development office at 477-9485 (in Edmonton), 1-800-232-7208 (toll free in Alberta).
The ATA/SACSC Safe Spaces Initiative was authored by Kristopher Wells and designed by Clayton Kropp.