The Safe Kids Initiative is our effort to protect LGBT youth from violence and harassment in schools. LGBT students are 63% more likely to be bullied than any other group of students. Meanwhile, every 30 minutes, a student commits suicide as a direct result of being bullied. CFAC has dedicated its entire activist staff to this pressing issue.
OUTREACH AND TRAININGS
An end to oppression comes when we change both the laws and the culture. In the past, our focus has been on passing legislation to protect LGBTQ youth. Now, we turn our attention to direct outreach to the San Diego community.
We’re currently engaging in a program of outreach, teach-ins and trainings for staff and youth at local schools and homeless shelters.
42% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.
LGBT students drop out of high school at triple the national average rate.
We plan to visit dozens of local GSAs and homeless shelters in the coming months and give teach-ins on how to enact policies that protect and support LGBTQ youth. We will also train young people from schools and shelters to become activists and teach them to fight for their own empowerment within their communities.
Why Fair Education is important to our youth
Please contact us to find out ways that you and your community can get involved and take an active part in this campaign. If you’re interested in hosting an event with your workplace or organization or volunteering to protect transgender youth, please email us at Field@canvassforacause.org
CANVASSING TO PROTECT THE SCHOOL SUCCESS AND OPPORTUNITY ACT
The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) is the first bill in the country to guarantee trans* students equal access to school bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams that match their gender identity. Right now, trans* students are 3 times more likely to drop out of schools before graduation. In fact, 78% of trans* students report being harassed simply because of their gender identity. This bill will affirm students’ identities and give them the opportunities they deserve to have a successful education.
Right now, AB 1266 and trans* students are under attack. Under the guise of the “Privacy for All Students Coalition,” anti-transgender organizations have launched an all-out public smear campaign against transgender students, lying to the public to get signatures to repeal this bill and remove the rights so long denied to trans folk.
We know we can protect this bill, because we’ve done it before! In 2012, we successfully defended the FAIR Education Act by building the public awareness needed to defeat a repeal attempt. In fact, we had over 70,000 people pledge to Decline to Sign the petition that would have removed gay civil rights history from high school text books. We believe in taking action now, before its too late. That’s why we’ve started to educate the public and change hearts and minds on this issue on a daily basis in the public!
OUR WORK ON THE SNDA
We have been working on the Student Non-Discrimination Act since October 2012. This is the first federal bill CFAC has ever worked on for our day-to-day campaign! Our main goal is to not only pass this bill, but to build local support for queer rights and empower our youth to make changes on their campus and in their communities while oppression still exists. Since October, this is what we have done for the SNDA:
- Educated more than 80,000 people about the SNDA
- Changed more 300 hearts and minds on the issue
- Collected and delivered over 7,000 letters to Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., a local San Diego Representative and the former committee chair that could have introduced the SNDA – our largest letter gathering effort to date!
- Collected over 1,000 letters urging Rep. Jim Costa to co-sponsor the SNDA – he did!
- Worked with over 20 local schools and hundreds of students in Spring 2013 to educate them about California’s anti-bullying laws, educate them on issues ranging from gender identity to persuasion conversations, and engaged them about the SNDA and how much work still needs to be done for safe spaces for all LGBT youth
PREVIOUS WORK ON THE SAFE KIDS CAMPAIGN
In August 2013, a strike team of activists mobilized over 170 phone calls from the public to Governor Brown to sign AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, in one day. That same day, we delivered over 1,100 letters from Californians urging the Governor to sign the bill. The next work day, Governor Bill signed the bill into law! This law is the first in the country to provide safe access to facilities and activities for transgender youth based on their gender identity.
In September 2012, our activists we mobilized thousands of phone calls in two weeks to Governor Brown to sign SB 1172, the country’s first ever ban on “pray the gay away” camps for minors. This incredible victory has resulted in New York attempting to pass similar legislation. The same day that Governor Brown signed this bill, he vetoed several other progressive bills. We know that this is proof that public pressure works!
In 2012, we helped protect the FAIR Education Act, a bill that “compels the inclusion of the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into educational textbooks and the social studies curricula in California public schools”. Anti-gay groups attempted to get an initiative on the ballot that would have reversed this decision; the most popular initiative was the Class Act. CFAC not only educated tens of thousands of people on this issue, but ran a “Decline to Sign” campaign whereby over 50,000 individuals agreed that they would not sign the petition. A week before the opposition ran a final petition drive, we mobilized a strike team of activists to go door-to-door in Chino Hills and got over 100 people to agree not to sign the bill. The opposition announced soon after that the petition drive fell short by over 50,000 signatures.