Enloe Student’s Take on Proposed Safe Schools Improvement Act

What Safe Place Really Means and How You Can Be An Ally

Enloe Students Take on Proposed Safe Schools Improvement Act

The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) is a proposed act that would prohibit bullying and harassment related to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. As of October 2019, the act has yet to be passed by Congress. 

Currently, only 21 U.S. states have LGBTQ+ protection laws, including North Carolina. In August 2019 Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill banning state funding of conversion therapy for minors, making North Carolina the first southern state to do so. Despite these fantastic strides towards equality, The 2017 National School Climate Survey by The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) shows that 87.3% of LGBTQ+ students still experience harassment or assault for their identities. Bullied students on average have lower GPAs and may avoid school entirely in fear of being beaten up or harassed. 

Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Secretary, Ashely Wright (12) says “If a school is not completely supportive of a student, it can make it much harder for the student to have a successful education. They may have more challenges to face compared to other students that would make it difficult to complete work.” Schools banning trans students from wearing gender-affirming clothing or using a preferred bathroom could be detrimental to the mental health of those students. Without a strong support network of allies, friends, and teachers, a student may feel as if they are helpless and have no way out.

Enloe strives to create an environment where students feel safe expressing who they are. “You never know how much a small comment or moment can mean to someone. You don’t need to go above and beyond to be accepting of someone, just let them know you’re there and support them,” Wright (12) says. “A simple way to be accommodating is by putting up safe place stickers/signs in classrooms. Even if I never talk to the teacher, seeing that someone has a safe place sticker on their door always reassured me that I have some place to go.”

The Safe Schools Improvement Act is one of the many ways educators can make schools safe for everyone. An accepting school means a better environment, happier students, and higher chances of success. 

In order to support the SSIA, Here is a link to the GLSEN website. 


If you or someone you know is LGBTQ+ and struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to any of the resources below. 

National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

TrevorLifeline 1-866-488-7386.

TransLifeline 1-877-565-8860