Can LGTBQ + School = Safe?

Beyondmedia Education partnered with youth media producers and the Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation (CESO) and Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to create a multi-media toolkit on issues facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer / Questioning (LGBTQ) youth in Illinois public schools. Can LGBTQ+ Schools=Safe? focuses on sexuality-based discrimination and anti-gay violence of LGBTQ youth in Illinois schools, and shows how to start a Gay-Straight Alliance or Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA). See for more information.

00:00Copy video clip URL Opening in a school cafeteria with students at a table. The camera pans to an installation arranged by the students where all tables except for the table they sit at have chairs on top of them. The students explain that their table is where outcasts and LGBTQ+ students sit, while the tables with chairs on them represent where straight students or non-outcasts sit. 

00:33Copy video clip URL Colorful animated collage opening with music and title: “Can LGBTQ + School = Safe?” Transition into split screens showing clips of school campuses. 

00:57Copy video clip URL Sullivan High School GSA members talk briefly about joining GSA. 

01:15Copy video clip URL A student talks about their experience of being harassed by other students in a school club for being LGBTQ+. While they speak about this experience, multiple onscreen text boxes appear, one reading “The average LGBTQ high school student hears slurs twenty-five times a day or once every fourteen minutes”. Followed by a compilation of students recalling homophobic slurs they’ve been called at school. 

02:20Copy video clip URL Close up footage of school lockers with onscreen text reading “Eighty-two percent of students report that faculty or staff rarely intervene when they hear homophobic remarks”

02:27Copy video clip URL A student stands in front of a classroom door recounting the moment her sexuality was outed in school. An onscreen text bubble appears reading “Sixty-four percent of queer youth feel unsafe in their schools because of their sexual orientation.” 

02:54Copy video clip URL Maine East High School student sits outside sharing their experiences with harassment, threats, and physical violence. Onscreen text appears reading “LGBTQ youth are almost twice as likely as their non-gay peers to be threatened with or injured by a weapon at school” and “Thirty-nine percent of queer youth are physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation.”

03:19Copy video clip URL Musical transition of students walking through school halls. Camera zooms to a plaque that reads “Principal” followed by a GSA student interviewing Sullivan High School principle on non-discrimination policies in relation to student safety. 

04:20Copy video clip URL Maine East High School student recounts reaching out to a social worker for help after being bullied in school followed by social worker Aren Drehobl Glsen discussing the lack of help from faculty in cases of harassment. Onscreen text reads “Thirty-three percent of LGBTQ students drop out of high school to escape violence, harassment, and isolation.”

05:26Copy video clip URL Jones College Prep principal Dr. Donald Fraynd discusses dealing with minimizing conflict and creating safety for kids in school. Clips of students talking about teachers and administrators not standing up against homophobic harassment. 

07:37Copy video clip URL Musical transition of students walking through halls. Sullivan High School GSA student shows posters with the words “No Hate Zone” located throughout the school. 

08:15Copy video clip URL An LGBTQ+ teacher discusses feeling fear within the education system about the possible repercussions of being out as a queer educator. Cut to Dr. Donald Fraynd discussing the positive impact that being a LGBTQ+ teacher that is out can have. 

09:45Copy video clip URL Maine East High School student recalls bouts with self-harm and depression. Onscreen text reads “Queer youth are more than four times as likely to report attempting suicide that their straight peers.” 

10:06Copy video clip URL GSA members speaks about the importance of having a GSA club where they can be in community with others.

10:41Copy video clip URL Colorful animation with the text “Start a GSA” appears. Followed by Maine East High student sharing their experience of joining LGBTQ+ events and finding community. An onscreen text reads “over 3,000 GSAs now exist nationwide with chapters in every state, and the number is growing every day.”

11:40Copy video clip URL Jones College Prep teacher Jim Dubois and other students talk about how to start a GSA step by step. 

14:05Copy video clip URL Footage of workshop with Aren Drehobl Glsen and students collaborating to form a GSA. Students talk about activism and creativity in GSA and diversity and representation within the queer community. 

18:08Copy video clip URL Cut to Kay Barret reciting a poem outside about rejecting the labels placed on them by others. 

18:32Copy video clip URL Musical transition with footage of dancers with the words “plan a dance!”. Followed by a montage of clips showing an open mic night, guest speakers, movie nights, and a protest. 

19:27Copy video clip URL Camera pan to Jones College Prep sign. Jones students sign people up for their event, “The Day of Silence, Night of Noise” about queer history and present day achievements. Interviews with various students about the event. Montage of students and staff wearing ribbons in support of the event.

22:00Copy video clip URL Footage of student protest with close ups of signage in support of LGBTQ+ communities. Students chant “It’s time to make a change!”

22:22Copy video clip URL Credits 

















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