Olathe schools join national effort to provide 'safe spaces' for - KCTV5

Olathe schools join national effort to provide 'safe spaces' for LGBTQ youth

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According to a recent study, more schools around the country are offering safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, including the Olathe School District. (KCTV5) According to a recent study, more schools around the country are offering safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, including the Olathe School District. (KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Many students experience bullying while at school but now, there is a push to help one group in particular.

According to a recent study, more schools around the country are offering safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, including high schools in the Olathe School District, where staff members go through personalized training.

But that’s not the case for all Kansas City area districts.

Several districts on both sides of the state line say the same thing, they provide safe spaces for all students but don’t like to put labels on who they are for.

All school districts have policies to prevent discrimination and many have clubs for LGBT youth.

Cassandra Peters created JOCO Q-Space, a group for LGBT youth in Johnson County, after her son came out. She says she created the group because schools weren’t offering enough.

“It’s really difficult for the kids right now trying to discover themselves and living in a world their parents might not even accept them. So, school would be their only escape from being bullied, at home even,” Peters said.

Peters says she wishes there were safe spaces for the LGBT in all schools, on all levels.

“They can have a place where they can relax and take a deep breath and see other people that are just like them and not feel terrified that someone can attack them at any moment,” Peters said. “There's always more we can do no matter what. We can always improve on anything, making sure kids have knowledge and access to GSA's.”

For districts that do not offer training, the group GLSEN, dedicated to creating inclusive schools, offers a workshop all teachers can sign up for.

"An ideal safe space would be where they could go and not have to feel judged. Where if someone is teasing them or saying things and using slurs that someone is going to step in," Peters said. 

High schools make up a majority of schools that offer safe spaces.

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