Meet Pride School Atlanta, a new K-12 school in Georgia that’s making history by being the first school in the Southeastern United States to brand itself as an institution for LGBT teachers and students who want to educate and be educated in a safe environment.
The school’s founder, Christian Zsilavetz, a 45 year old trans man with 25 years in education, told the Associated Press that Pride School is here to embrace teachers and students who have experienced intolerance in traditional educational settings.
This school is essential in a world in which the majority of LGBT teens still feel unsafe in traditional environments. According to the 2013 National School Climate Survey, 65% of LGBT students report hearing homophobic remarks “frequently or often,” and 85% of these students report being verbally harassed in the past year. In fact, the harassment can be so extreme that 30% of LGBT students reported missing at least one school day in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
These numbers are unacceptable, and reinforce how necessary it is to create havens like Pride School. Every student should feel safe in their learning environment. And as Zsilavetz told the AP, he not only believes that Pride School will make students more comfortable, he also believes that it will save lives.
Yahoo Parenting reports that Pride School will open in the fall of 2016. Tuition will be $13,000 per year, but Zsilavetz says financial assistance is available for students in need.
We absolutely can’t wait for this beautiful institution to open this fall and we hope that this is just the beginning of a meaningful change in education.
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