Safe & Supportive Environment for OUSD Students who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ)
OUSD's Community Schools and Student Service Department provides comprehensive educational and community building programing to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for our LGBTQ students. Funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- For Students
- LGBTQ School Climate Liaisons
- OUT for Safe Schools
- GSA Day (Gender & Sexuality Alliance)
- Inclusive Sexual Health Education
- Professional Development
Every middle and high school in OUSD has an on-site adult ally for LGBTQ students. This person is also the advisor for your school's GSA club. They are available to you as a student to help you navigate student life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out who the adult ally is at your school.
In addition, we recommend these digital resources for OUSD students who are LBGTQ:
The Trevor Project: Text TREVOR to 202-304-1200
Trans Lifeline: Call 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Textline: Text START to 641-641
PrEP Locator: www.pleaseprepme.org
LGBTQ School Climate Liaisons
Middle and High School LGBTQ Liaisons are on-site staff who receive a stipend to lead their school’s LGBTQ programing. The Liaison’s primary task is to be the advisor for their school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) student club. The GSA is a place where LGBTQ students and allies can meet weekly to safely build community and strategize how to improve school climate. In addition to leading their school’s GSA, Liaisons also host one educational school-wide event and provide a staff presentation in their own school about their role and key policies affecting the student body and expectations of all OUSD employees.
OUT for Safe Schools
An important component to ensuring students and families feel welcome at their school and in OUSD is the ability to identify individuals who are committed to being an ally. OUSD is part of a national program called OUT for Safe Schools - which seeks to identify safe spaces and adult allies on campus. School personnel and staff can voluntarily wear the badge to signify to students they are an ally and are LGBTQ ambassadors at their school site.
An ally might stand up for an LGBTQ individual, speak out against hurtful language, or proactively work to ensure school climate policies and practices are safe and inclusive for LGBTQ individuals.
Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Day
The OUSD GSA Day is a full day educational and community building event attended by LGBTQ Liaisons and their GSA students. The GSA Day brings together middle and high school Gender & Sexuality Alliance members to share resources, build community, and problem-solve common challenges at their respective schools. GSA Day is a participant-driven and youth leadership focused one day conference that aims to increase safety and support for our students.
GSA Day 2018 was supported in part by Teaching Tolerance, Frank H. Jernigan Charitable Foundation, Inc., and the Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR).
Inclusive Sexual Health Education
OUSD’s comprehensive sexual health education curriculum, Healthy Oakland Teens, is inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations. The curriculum, delivered through Science in 6th and 7th grade and Science and ELA in 9th grade, addresses homophobia and how to be an ally.
Professional development is available as needed to district and site staff on policy, programing and strategies to support all students and families including those who are, or perceived to be, LGBTQ.
OUSD Policy and CA Law
School Success and Opportunity Act: Students are permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records. (AB 1266, 2013)
Seth’s Law: Protects students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion. (AB 9, 2012)
Posters are available for download for teachers and staff who would like to post them in their offices and classrooms to let visitors know their space is supportive and safe.
For more information about OUSD LGBTQ programs or request for assistance, please contact:
Ilsa Bertolini, Program Manager, Sexual Health Education
Olivia Higgins, LGBTQ Education Consultant
LGBTQ Support Poster