An international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools - at home and all over the world - become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
1.) Webinar: Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline - from Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
2.) Report: Seattle Schools Leading the Way for Transgender Youth - from Beyond the Bridge
3.) News: Breakthrough Ruling in Favor of Transgender Student - from GLAD
4.) Resource: Safe Schools Do Better - from Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, Australia
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1.) Webinar: Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline - from Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

Join us for a Webinar on February 12

While schools are designed to help students grow and learn, often, school policies, practices and culture help push out and exclude students and often lead them into the juvenile justice system.  This phenomenon, called, the School-to-Prison Pipeline disproportionately targets youth of color, LGBT youth and youth with disabilities. Join us for a conversation about how zero tolerance and other school policies feed the School-to-Prison Pipeline and limits the opportunities of our most vulnerable youth.

This webinar is a second offering of our webinar held in December, and will feature Jolon McNeal from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and Geoffrey Winder and Jennifer Raviv from the GSA Network.

Title: Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline 
Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees 
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees 
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees 
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance 

 2.) Report: Seattle Schools Leading the Way for Transgender Youth - from Beyond the Bridge
It is our pleasure at the beginning of every year to report on projects that were funded by Beyond the Bridge and completed during the previous year. In this first issue of 2014 we we will focus on the groundbreaking work of Seattle Schools to improve school climate for transgender and gender non-conforming youth.

More students in Seattle and around the nation are coming out as transgender, and they are doing so at younger ages. Yet in a nationwide survey 78% of K-12 transgender students report being harassed on a regular basis, one-third report physical violence, and 6% say they have been expelled due to their gender expression. And bathrooms, locker rooms, athletic teams and more are segregated by gender, decreasing access and safety. Students, parents and school staff have been asking for guidance to better accommodate the needs of gender variant youth.

In December of 2012 a Superintendent Procedure titled "Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students" was approved for Seattle public schools. This document provides school administrators and staff with legal requirements and best practices addressing everything from bathroom use to athletics, field trips to student records. Funds from Beyond the Bridge supported two district-wide trainings which were attended by nearly 100 staff. Trainings were conducted by Seattle Schools Health Education Manager Lisa Love in conjunction with Gender Diversity Director Aidan Key. Funding also supported additional trainings at three elementary and middle schools, gay-straight alliance activities, and books across all grade levels that reflect a diverse range of gender identities and experiences.

In sharing with us about the successes and challenges of this initiative, Lisa Love notes the powerful impact of student, staff and family voices.  For example, "One staff person shared that they had done a great deal to prepare the rest of the school staff and students for the transitioning of an elementary student.  As it turned out, it was such a non-issue for the kids that it was more like announcing that the lunch menu had been changed. There were a few thoughtful questions and then they moved on. Hearing this from a school staff directly was a relief to others in the training."

While we know unfortunately that not all transitions go so smoothly, staff who are prepared with accurate knowledge about transgender youth experiences and best practices will be better able to handle bullying or other negative responses should they occur. And access to all that a K-12 education has to offer, including academics, extracurricular activities, social and emotional development, will be greatly enhanced for gender variant youth in schools where such policies are being implemented.

Beyond the Bridge was proud to fund Seattle Schools' efforts to destigmatize and demystify gender identity and expression and create accepting school spaces and appropriate responses for transgender and gender non-conforming youth.

Beyond The Bridge
818 12th Ave.; Seattle, WA 98122

3.) News: Breakthrough Ruling in Favor of Transgender Student - from GLAD

January 30, 2014

Transgender Students Must Have Full Access to School Facilities, Says Maine High Court

Today, Maine's highest court ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls' restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine's Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people. The decision in GLAD's lawsuit Doe v. Clenchy marks the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are.

The ruling stated in part, "[The school] agreed with Susan's family and counselors that, for this purpose (as for virtually all others), Susan is a girl.  Based upon its determination that Susan is a girl, and in keeping with the information provided to the school by Susan's family, her therapists, and experts in the field of transgender children, the school determined that Susan should use the girls' bathroom."

"This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people," said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, who argued the case before the Maine Law Court on June 12. "Schools have a responsibility to create a learning environment that meets and balances the needs of all kids and allows every student to succeed. For transgender students this includes access to all school facilities, programs, and extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity."

"A transgender girl is a girl and must be treated as such in all respects, including using the girls' restroom. This ruling is consistent with what educators and human rights commissions - including the Maine Human Rights Commission -- around the country have concluded," said GLAD Senior Attorney Bennett Klein, who was co-counsel with Levi in the case.

The litigation arose after officials at an Orono elementary school denied Nicole Maines, a transgender girl who was then in fifth grade, use of the girls' restroom. The school had previously allowed Nicole to use the girls' room but reversed course after the misconduct of one male student who followed Nicole into that facility.

"We are very grateful and relieved that the Court said our daughter should not be singled out for different treatment at school simply because she is transgender," said Wayne Maines, Nicole's father. "As parents all we've ever wanted is for Nicole and her brother Jonas to get a good education and to be treated just like their classmates, and that didn't happen for Nicole. What happened to my daughter was extremely painful for her and our whole family, but we can now close this very difficult chapter in our lives. We are very happy knowing that because of this ruling, no other transgender child in Maine will have to endure what Nicole experienced."

GLAD and Jodi L. Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons, P.A. represented Susan in the lawsuit.

Learn more about the case and read previous case documents here:

Read the full decision here:

Contact GLAD
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
30 Winter Street, STE 800
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 426-1350
Fax: (617) 426-3594

4.) Resource: Safe Schools Do Better - from Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, Australia
January 30th, 2014

Check out this brand new resource 'Safe Schools Do Better.' It's gloriously colourful and has everything you need to know about SSCV and supporting gender and sexual diversity at YOUR school.  

Glossary of Terms
The research & what people tell us
The Good Stuff
While the data shows that young people are still experiencing high levels of homophobia and transphobia, schools in the coalition are already making a positive difference. There are any simple ways to proactively support sexual and gender diversity, and in doing so, we're already starting to turn these negative stats around.
The way we support change in schools
What we offer to members
Staff and Student Audits
Professional Learning
And more.

Download the 12 page digital copy here (pdf format)
or get in touch today to order a beautifully printed hard-copy.

Safe Schools Coalition Victoria

Leadership Team:



  • Lead Chair -- Matthew Wilson (Oasis Youth Center): send a message or call 253-671-2838   
  • Back-up Lead Chair -- Seth Kirby (Oasis Youth Center): send a message or call 253-671-2838  


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