What is Project Safe Space?
to our Speakers Bureau, Project Safe Space is our free
educational program primarily designed for middle schools,
schools and colleges. We utilize this program to tailor
presentations to student classes, teachers, counselors,
staff, administrators and/or parent groups. Our primary purpose
is to bring attention to the critical
need of providing a "safe space" for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender
and questioning (GLBTQ) youth at their school. We do this typically by
sharing briefly what PFLAG is and the work we do (i.e., our
mission to support,
advocate), by discussing
basic terminology related to common GLBTQ terms, by sharing
facts and statistics on GLBTQ youth in today's society and
schools, and, if requested, the personal stories of those from
PFLAG invited to participate. As with our Speakers Bureau,
we have the flexibility to easily tailor our presentation for any topics
you would like us to address.
Why the Need for a "Safe
reason we emphasize the need for a "safe space" in
schools for GLBTQ students is two-fold. Unfortunately, in
the vast majority of schools today, students (GLBTQ and straight
alike) hear anti-gay slurs over 25 times a day on average,
according to recent studies, and students (GLBTQ and straight
alike) are subjected to anti-gay verbal and
which are largely ignored by
school administrations and
members who have not received adequate training to
know how to handle such incidents. Until recently,
students subjected to these serious behaviors have had nowhere to turn.
However, after several successful lawsuits in recent
against school administrators and faculty, victims of this
behavior finally have a voice…and a financial
"punch" to schools if the they do not protect these
prevent these types of serious behaviors from
occurring in schools. Project Safe Space allows our
volunteers to educate school administrators,
faculty, staff, students and parents about the needs to provide protections
for GLBTQ students before serious damage occurs and lawsuits are filed.
What Does PFLAG Actually Do At The Schools?
Trained volunteers from our PFLAG chapter will meet with school administrators,
faculty groups, student groups and/or parent groups, either on campus or
at a designated off-campus location, and will prepare a tailored presentation
for the invited audience. Presentations can be tailored to focus
on such topics as:
recent changes in Federal law which mandate that schools provide a safe
learning environment for their GLBTQ students
the financial risk to school systems and administrators if such an environment
is not provided and, as a result, GLBTQ (or straight) students suffer from
harassment from other students and/or faculty members
the PFLAG Phoenix organization and the supportive, educational and advocacy
services we provide
what the “coming out” process is all about and why GLBT individuals (and
later, their parents) must eventually do so
personal accounts of GLBT individuals and parents of GLBT individuals
regarding their own personal journeys of confusion, fear, education and
What Else is Included?
Workshops/seminars/presentations to your school board, administration, faculty,
and/or parents group – including a folder of resource materials for all attendees
Presentations to student classes
GLBTQ support groups and to gay/straight alliance (GSA) student groups
that may exist in your school
Assistance to help start a GLBTQ support group or gay/straight
alliance (GSA) student group if one doesn't exist at your school
A free set of educational books (while quantities last)
and pamphlets for the school’s faculty and/or student libraries, counselor,
and/or supportive faculty member(s) so that materials are readily available for
both staff and students
- Cooperation with your school in any capacity needed to facilitate “Project
Safe Space”, adapting to your school’s needs and/or limitations.
Schedule a Project Safe Space
Presentation for Your School
If you would like to discuss a possible Project
Safe Space presentation at your school or church, please contact us at
602-843-1404 or email
us. If you are interested in possibly becoming a volunteer with our Project
Safe Space program, please let us know! We are always in need of
additional volunteers who can tell their personal stories.
How Can I Help/Support Project Safe Space?
There are several critical ways that you can support this
provide us the name of any GLBTQ-friendly/supportive teacher, counselor
or other faculty member in a Maricopa County school so that we
can contact them to see if PFLAG Phoenix would be welcome at their school
to give a presentation. We have discovered that the best way, and
sometimes the ONLY way, to get into a specific school is through a GLBTQ-friendly
faculty member. Your contact may be the person who unlocks the door
to an otherwise closed school to us. Any names given will be held
in the strictest confidence and you can remain anonymous if you prefer.
To help in this area, please email
us the name of the individual(s) along with their contact information and the name of the school they are
You can give of your time and become a participant in our Safe Space presentation.
We desperately need more GLBT individuals and parents of GLBT individuals in our group of volunteers. We will provide you with
free training. All you really need to be able to do is to tell your
own personal story – it’s that simple! Most critically needed are
those individuals who are available during school hours to attend school
presentations. However, we also have afternoon and evening slots
open as well! To become a volunteer or to just request additional
information, just email us
with your name, email address and/or phone number.
You can give us financial support. We operate on a tight budget and
we must purchase all the resource materials provided to the schools.
Your financial gift, fully tax deductible as allowed by law, will go a
long way in helping us to ensure that we have the funds needed to cover
the costs of these resource materials. Our volunteers give freely
of their time and no individuals receive any payments for speaking.
To provide financial support for this project, send your check, payable
to PFLAG Phoenix/Project Safe Space, to:
PFLAG Phoenix/Project Safe Space
2942 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Safe Schools Resources