The GSA Network is designed to empower students on their mission to create safe spaces in their school and community. From GSA organizing to getting support after being bullied, our mission will always be student-focused.
From district-wide professional development, license renewal and graduate credits to one-on-one support, Iowa Safe Schools is committed to supporting educators, administrators, and helping professionals in their journey to becoming amazing allies to LGBTQ youth.
Families can be our most powerful allies! Iowa Safe Schools is proud to offer support and resources to parents and caregivers on how to ensure that students have support not just at school, but at home as well.
Through customized planning and one-on-one support, Iowa Safe Schools is excited to
The mission of Iowa Safe Schools is to provide safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ and allied youth through education, outreach, advocacy, and direct services.
All students need a safe, supportive atmosphere in which they can learn, including students that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ). Unfortunately, bullying, harassment, and discrimination against LGBTQ students occurs often in our schools. In fact, 82% of transgender youth report that they feel unsafe at school and 74.1% of LGBTQ students were verbally bullied in the past year because of their sexual orientation. As these students face verbal and physical harassment, educators, policy makers, parents, and other students are often hampered by the lack of quality information and resources to protect LGBTQ students. That’s where Iowa Safe Schools comes in.
We provide comprehensive support, victim services, resources, and events for LGBTQ and Allied youth. Serving over 10,000 youth annually, Iowa Safe Schools is the largest LGBTQ youth serving organization in the Midwest.
Founded in 2002, Iowa Safe Schools worked for five years by hosting community forums across the state and talking to leaders one on one about the importance of protecting all students. These forums led to movements in many Iowa communities to pass protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2007, Iowa became the 10th state in the nation to pass a comprehensive Safe Schools Law that protects ALL students. During that year, Iowa passed the Anti-Bullying & Anti-Harassment Act as well as expanding the Iowa Civil Rights Code to include both sexual orientation and gender identity.
After years lobbying in the Iowa Legislature to pass these important bill, Governor Culver and Lt. Governor Judge made it a priority in their first two months in office to pass. The bipartisan vote on SF 61 made protecting students in schools not only an ethical, professional, and moral obligation – but a legal one.
In Fall 2016, Iowa Safe Schools launched the GSA Network program, with the mission of empowering students to create safe spaces in Iowa schools through youth activism and community support. It is designed to provide resources and support to LGBTQ and allied students in Iowa, as well as educators and GSA advisors. The Network connects GSAs across the state, and assist students interested in starting a GSA get their group off the ground.
Laws, however, are only good if enforcement and education follows. Work remains to be done to protect all students from bullying, harassment, and discrimination. #ProtectKidsStopBullying!
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If this is an emergency, dial 911 or the Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 988.
24 x 7 crisis assistance is available from the Iowa Victim Service Call Center 1800-770-1650 or text IowaHelp to 20121.
Iowa Safe Schools —P.O. Box 704 Des Moines, IA 50303 — 515-381-0588
Iowa Safe Schools