, :

Don’t Forget – GSSC Offers Trainings!

May 14th, 2015

Request a training for your school or organization! If you would like LGBTQQIA cultural competency training or safe zone training we’ve got you covered. Please fill out this training request form!

GSSC banner with simon bell

Georgia GSA Youth Summit Registration Now OPEN!

December 11th, 2014

gssc hand logoRegister to Now! February 7th at Agnes Scott College

The 2015 Georgia GSA Youth Summit will run from 8:00am-6:00pm, and will offer education, entertainment, breakout sessions, advocacy, and new friendships. After dinner, there will be a social/talent show from 8:00pm-9:30pm.

Click Here to Register! Free for all youth attendees!

If you are looking for an LGBTQ friendly place to stay near the summit, we encourage you to make reservations at the Courtyard by Marriott in Decatur.  You can access their webpage at http://www.courtyarddecatur.com


There was also a Resource Fair of LGBTQ organizations and supports groups to share info. Many colleges had tables sharing about their school and the GSA community there. For many high school students, this was a key resource!

Become a Speaker for LGBTQQIA Trainings!

October 16th, 2014

The Georgia Safe Schools Coalition is a group of teachers, parents, students and community organizers and one important service we offer is Safe Zone training for Georgia schools. We need more volunteers to become GSSC Safe Zone trainers in order to meet the huge need out there!

At this training you will learn how to be a speaker at LGBTQQIA Safe Zone trainings. It is a “Train the Trainer” opportunity – free of charge!  Come to this training and see if being a GSSC Trainer is something you would like to do. GSSC Train trainers flyer 2014

Topics will include:

  • GSSC history and mission
  • Georgia statistics
  • LGBTQQIA Language 101
  • Transgender, Gender-Variant, and Gender Non-Conforming
  • Commonalities among students
  • Georgia School Policies
  • Advocating for LGBTQQIA students
  • Activities for reaching people
  • Practical Steps for presenting
  • Risk-taking and Self-Care for advocates

Follow this link to register for Train-the-Trainers!

Have questions about Train the Trainer Workshop? Contact us!
And don’t forget, the GSA 2015 Summit (Feb 7, 2015) registration page is now open!


Join Us at Atlanta Pride!

October 8th, 2014

YLS Pride 2014 banner

An affirming space where young LGBTQIQ people ages 14-25 can hang out and relax during

Atlanta Pride Weekend

Join us at the Piedmont Park Dock by the 12th Street entrance. The event is FREE and we will have various activities such as yard games, chill space, sign making, etc. There will be free snacks and water while supplies last.

  • The Queer Youth Council will host our space on Saturday October 11 from 10a.m. -5p.m.
  • Real Youth will host our space on Sunday October 12 from 2p.m.-6p.m.

Check us out:Real Youth logo

Youth liberation Space on Facebook

Real Youth

Georgia Safe Schools Coalition Facebook

For more questions send an email to:

(Enable Javascript to see the email address) or (Enable Javascript to see the email address)

 Atlanta Pride Parade

In addition to the Youth Liberation Space at Pride, the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition is being honored as one of the marshals for the parade on Sunday. We invite you to march with us.  If you can march, below are the directions we received.

12 Noon-3:30 p.m.October 12, 2014
Assembly area near Civic Center MARTA Station
Please arrive to the parade assembly area no later than 12:15 p.m. and don’t forget to allow for traffic and crowded MARTA vehicles since the route will begin filling up with spectators around 12 Noon. The parade begins at 1:00 p.m. SHARP, so we don’t want any of our honored guests being left behind.
·      Your parade placement is located on our website ( http://atlantapride.org/pride/parade/participants/ ). All Grand Marshals and Honorary Grand Marshals will be mixed in among our sponsors but you will turn into the parade assembly area at the intersection of Ralph McGill Boulevard and Courtland (please see the attached map). Our Parade Committee will direct you to your convertible and will help the organization walking behind your car find you (if applicable).
·      You should be through the entire parade route by 3:00 p.m., but we want to allow for a buffer. The parade concludes at the Charles Allen Gate into Piedmont Park on 10th Street.

Georgia GSA Youth Summit Registration Now OPEN!

Save the Date! February 7th at Agnes Scott College

The 2015 Georgia GSA Youth Summit will run from 8:00am-6:00pm, and will offer education, entertainment, breakout sessions, advocacy, and new friendships. After dinner, there will be a social/talent show from 8:00pm-9:30pm.

Click Here to Register! Free for all youth attendees!

If you are looking for an LGBTQ friendly place to stay near the summit, we encourage you to make reservations at the Courtyard by Marriott in Decatur.  You can access their webpage at http://www.courtyarddecatur.com


There was also a Resource Fair of LGBTQ organizations and supports groups to share info. Many colleges had tables sharing about their school and the GSA community there. For many high school students, this was a key resource!

Have questions about 2015 Georgia GSA Youth Summit? Contact Georgia Safe Schools Coalition

Push Back Against School Push Out!

October 1st, 2014

This year the Georgia Partners of the Dignity in Schools Campaign will host two events in conjunction with the National Week of Action Against School Pushout. This week long campaign is designed to bring attention and awareness to the school to prison pipeline which is funneling students into the criminal justice system.

School Pushout = school policies, practices and procedures that make it more likely for students to leave school instead of finish it. 

These policies are much more likely to impact LGBTQ students, students of color, immigrant students, and students with disabilities.  Students who get pushed out are more likely to end up in jail or juvenile detention.

JOIN US as we march and shine a light on the secret world of school pushout and the school to prison pipeline! The rally following the march is about the importance of artistic expression and the role of the community as a catalyst for change.

Want to perform at the rally and share your story? Click Here

The event will include food, poetry slams, musicians, and local area businesses and organizations dedicated to making public education a positive experience. Students with personal school discipline or pushout experience are invited to perform and share their experience through music, art, poetry or dance.

March & Rally Against School Pushout
The Casey Foundation University Avenue Site
352 University Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30310

October 4th, 2014
2:00 – 5:00 PM

Interested in performing? Click Here or contact (Enable Javascript to see the email address)

School Discipline Legal Workshop

The following Saturday, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School will offer a free legal workshop regarding school discipline at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett. The first session will discuss education law in general, followed by a half hour mini-workshop around recent changes to the juvenile justice code. The last 45 minutes will be dedicated to question and answers so that parents and students can get information more specific to their individual case. This is a great opportunity to learn your rights as a parent and your rights as students when faced with zero tolerance policies and life-changing discipline issues.

School Discipline Legal Workshop
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett
12 Bethesda Church Road in Lawrenceville.

October 11th, 2014
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Contact (Enable Javascript to see the email address) or visit gwinnettstopp.org.

The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a national organization dedicated to ending the school to prison pipeline. Their partners in Georgia for the Week of Action include Gwinnett SToPP, Georgia Equality, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, Gwinnett Human Relations Commission, Interfaith Children’s Movement, the ACLU of Georgia, and Lambda Legal.

Georgia’s Own Queer Youth – Their Experience of QYLTS Camp

September 9th, 2014

By Jessica Fisher and Kalli E.

The Queer Youth Leading The South (QYLTS) Camp convened on Wednesday, July 16th on  a cool, bright day in Georgia. The welcome mat rolled out for young people from seven southern states going from Florida to Mississippi, with even a couple guests from California.

The camp was held on the beautiful campus of Agnes Scott College, a private liberal arts women’s college in Decatur, Georgia.

The sense of community was felt almost instantly, as youth were showed to their dorms and settled into the space for the next three days.

The first evening included discussions on conflict management and a Trans Justice Workshop.

It was powerful to have the Trans Justice Workshop the first night, as language around gender identity is often the most necessary tool used by people to address their gender confusion. We were able to see that on the first night of QYLTS camp, as two youths, one from California and one from here in Georgia, expressed an interest to go by different pronouns and/or names, in an effort to explore their gender identity and to address their gender confusion. For some it was their first time in a safe space where they could explore their gender identity without fear or backlash.

And, as one Georgian trans youth put it, it was nice to not be the only trans person in the room.

The end of the first evening came way too quickly. Lots of us youth were tired and ready to sleep, but wanted to stay up and socialize, to meet the new people from across the country. Four days was too short a time to spend in such great company.

Read the rest of this entry »

Application Now Open for QYLTS Action Camp!

May 21st, 2014

qylts_logoQueer Youth Lead The South Action Camp is an interactive training camp for queer and trans youth living in the southeast. At QYLTS Action Camp participants learn about anti-oppression, social justice, and how to take their GSA organizing to the next level and bring positive change to their schools, communities and states! QYLTS Action Camp is organized by an interstate partnership with the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition/Georgia Equality, Alabama Safe Schools Coalition and GSA Network.

campers 2013 croppedThis year the camp is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia from July 16th – 19th.

The QYLTS Action Camp features intensive community building, skill building, political education and leadership training for LGBTQ student that they can bring back to share at their schools and communities. Participants will learn how to:

  • Strengthen GSA/LGBTQ activist clubs through coalition building, strategic organizing and fundraising
  • Understand the legal rights of students and GSA clubs.
  • Oppose LGBTQ harassment and ostracism in school environments.
  • Run successful campaigns to change the climate on their campuses.
  • Recognize the ways that homophobia and transphobia are connected to racism, sexism, classism, ableism, ageism and other oppressions.
  • Work with school administration, teachers and school boards to fight LBGTQ oppression.
  • Strengthen regional bonds with new friendships and connections with other LGBTQ youth across the southeast.

The camp is open to young people ages 14-23. If you would like more information about camp and fill out an application please check out our camp website at tinyurl.com/activistcamp



QYLTS Action Camp depends greatly on our awesome adult allys to make things possible. Help give young people the space and tools they need to empower themselves by making a donation, signing up to contribute a meal, or volunteering for a few hours! Your donation is fully tax deductible and will be used only for the QYLTS Action Camp. Click here to support QYLTS Camp and help another young person attend!

Georgia Safe Schools Coalition 5K and 1mile Fun Run!

March 31st, 2014

final GSSC 5K 2014 flyer

Click here to learn more and to register!

When: May 4th, 2014 10am
Where: Avondale Estates, Georgia5k fun run 2013 4
How: Register – http://www.gssc5k.com
$25 for 5K and $15 for 1 Mile Fun Run – T-shirt Included
Why: Come run to support Georgia Safe Schools Coalition mission to eliminate LGBTQQ oppression in Georgia schools! All proceeds from this race will help raise awareness and provide educational materials about issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth and families.

In August 2013, the U.S. Department of Education published statistics revealing that nearly 1 in 3 students (27.8%) reported being bullied during the school year.¹ Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment.² Furthermore, those students who identify as LGBTQQ are more likely than their peers to be victims of bullying and to express feelings of discomfort and anxiety when attending school.  A 2011 study from the National School Climate Survey indicated that 81.9% of students who identified as LGBTQQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation.³

To help prevent such injustices from occurring in Georgia’s schools, a partnership of educators, community organizations, and safe school activists banded together in 2009 to raise awareness about issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth and families.  The result of this collaboration was the development of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition (GSSC).  The purpose of GSSC is to eliminate LGBTQQ oppression in Georgia schools.  The organization educates and advocates on issues affecting LGBTQQ students and families.  By serving as a resource for Georgia students, educators, and families, the organization strives to engender positive social growth among Georgia’s youth, and to foster a safe and affirming school climate for all. The Powering Safe Schools 5K’s mission is to raise funds to support the ongoing initiatives of GSSC, including:

·         Providing training, support, and resources to Georgia schools, counselors, administration, faculty and staff
·         Raising awareness among families, parents and members of the community
·         Providing resources to help support safer, more affirming schools at the local, district, and state level
·         Consulting with schools and personnel in developing safer, more positive school climates
·         Offering support and resources to Gay-Straight Alliances

The event will feature the historic Central Business District and Mill District of Avondale Estates.

Click here to learn more and to register!

New Tools Available to End the School-to-Prison-Pipeline!

March 19th, 2014

gwinnett rallyAll young people need to be in school and feel safe there in order to learn. That’s why we’re committed to building safe and welcoming schools where students are free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and harsh discipline policies.

As we forge ahead in this important work, we’re using two new resources to advocate for inclusive and effective school policies:

Model School Code
The Dignity in Schools Campaign’s Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights of education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all young people in reaching their full potential.

A recently revised version of the Model Code is now available and includes new sections on:

  • social and emotional learning;
  • prevention and response to bullying behavior;
  • reducing tickets and summonses issued in school;
  • reducing racial disparities in discipline through culturally responsive classroom management; and
  • creating safe schools for LGBTQ students.

Just click here to download this resource! restorative practices

Restorative Justice Toolkit
A new, innovative tool designed to help improve school climate and reduce racial disparities in school discipline. This toolkit was jointly released by Advancement Project, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign. The toolkit focuses on strategies to build healthy relationships between students and adults in educational settings. This approach allows students and individuals to learn from their mistakes and make amends for wrongdoing. The “restorative practices” model includes addressing and discussing the needs of the school community, resolving conflict, holding individuals and groups accountable, repairing and restoring relationships, and reducing and preventing harmful behavior. Click here to download this resource!

Data on Suspensions
Overuse of out-of-school suspension is one of the key drivers of school pushout of minority students. It is one practice among many that make it more likely for students — especially LGBTQ students, students of color, immigrant students, and students with disabilities — to leave school instead of finish it.

Want to know the suspension rates for students by school district in your area? Check out School Discipline Data from The Center for Civil Rights Remedies (CCRR).

This useful tool quickly sorts through data on more than 26,000 U.S. schools and approximately 7,000 districts to present the reader with clear yet detailed graphs based on the analysis published in two recent CCRR reports — Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion from School and Out of School & Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle and High Schools.

A joint initiative of the federal Departments of Justice and Education released a long-awaited guidance package on school discipline.  According to a joint statement the guidance will “will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.”

The guidance includes the following:

  1. Unpublished 2011-12 CRDC data that reveals that stark racial disparities persist in the administration of school discipline.
  2. Disciplinary actions that will trigger heightened scrutiny from DOE/DOJ when they result in racial disparities.
  3. The legal framework within which the Departments will consider allegations of racially discriminatory discipline practices.
  4. Examples of remedies to redress violations of racial discrimination.
  5. Best practice recommendations for school districts, administrators, teachers, and staff.

Click here to download the guidance package. Dignity in Schools also hosted a webinar explaining the new guidance and it can be downloaded here.

The release of this guidance package is a major step forward in dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline. It is the federal government’s strongest acknowledgement yet of the pervasiveness and impact of the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Of course, this is a result of years of work by students, parents and other advocates who have demanded that policy makers address the problem.

While the guidance package is a victory in its own right, it also creates an opportunity to strengthen our current efforts. If you want to dismantle the school to prison pipeline in your school, either as a student or teacher/parent, get in contact with us so we can connect you to our local efforts and the work of our state and national partners!

Thanks to Dignity in Schools, Advancement Project, Equality Federation, and GSA Network for the information listed here.

To learn more about school to prison pipeline efforts in Georgia, check out these local organizations:

Gwinnett SToPP, Atlanta Community Engagement Team, Interfaith Children’s Movement, ACLU of Georgia

The Georgia Gay-Straight Alliance Youth Summit!

December 9th, 2013


GSA Summit cover 14


gsa summit 2012WHAT: The 4th Annual Georgia GSA Youth Summit is a free conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, allied, and intersex youth activists and allies who are dedicated to defeating homophobia and transphobia and creating safe, supportive schools for everyone. The day-long Summit offers education, entertainment, HIV testing, breakout sessions, advocacy, new friendships and it’s totally FREE for students!

Last year over 350 Georgia high school and college students attended and we expect the summit will be even larger this year! We also have sessions for adult allies so teachers, counselors, and parents are welcome too. Click HERE to Register!!

Help us keep this event free for youth by making a tax-deductible donation!


WHEN:  Saturday, February 15, 2014
Summit – 8:00am to 6:00pm (EST)
Talent Show – 8:00pm to 9:30pm

We will be providing breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can stay on campus for the entire event!

WHERE:  Agnes Scott College
141 East College Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030


Directions from MARTA: Agnes Scott’s campus is a short three-block walk from Atlanta’s subway system, known as MARTA. Take the East-West line to Decatur Station. Exit the terminal on the Church Street side and head south (toward the corner of Trinity and Church). Use the pedestrian tunnel to pass beneath the railroad tracks; you will merge at the College Avenue entrance to campus.

Parking: Click here for a map of the campus. Free parking is available in the Parking Deck (P2), and once that is full the East Parking lot (P8) is also available.

We have a limited amount of travel funds available to help students coming from outside Atlanta.
Please email (Enable Javascript to see the email address) for more information on travel assistance.

Need a ride? Uber can help you get to the Summit for free*!

GSASummit2014 Uber promo-page-001


2014 GSA Summit Talent Show

Young People’s Rights are Civil Rights!

Calling all performance artists and fans:

Are you passionate about social justice for all? What does liberty, freedom, and justice look like, sound like, feel like to you? Come share your talents and/or enthusiasm for the arts and young people’s rights among the masses, at the 2014 GSA Youth Summit Talent Show. The Talent Show is scheduled from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm in Presser Hall, following an on-campus dinner.

Please contact Lyndsay with the type of act, length of act, and stage name via e-mail:    lyndsaymorrow@csdecatur.net



If you have a service or product that aims to benefit the LGBTQA community, we welcome you to register for the GSA Summit Resource Fair. We are charging a $50 fee for non-profit organizations and a slightly higher fee for for profit organizations; our aim is to raise money to promote programming and advocacy for LGBTQ youth and young adults, not to exclude grassroots organizations. We reserve the right to refuse vendors at our own discretion but we will not turn away an organization on the basis of payment.  Please contact Kim Lee Hughes, 2014 Georgia GSA Summit Chair @ (Enable Javascript to see the email address) if you need a payment waiver for the Resource Fair.


We’ll have live tweets during the event using the hashtag   #GSASummit14  

Twitter: @GASafeSchools
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGeorgiaSafeSchoolsCoalition

Have any other questions about 2014 Georgia GSA Youth Summit?


GSA summit 2013 talentshow