Guide for Teachers: Schools / Safe / Space


In this cellphilm, through a mixture of dioramas, animation, and narration, we think about what the barriers to queer and safe spaces are in schools, and we imagine what queerer and safer spaces might look like.

Pre-Viewing Question:

1. What is a safe space? What conditions need to be met for you to feel safe in a space?

2. To what extent are schools safe spaces? Safe for whom? Who is made unsafe in schools?

3. How might we think about making school spaces safe? What would that look like?

Post-Viewing Questions:

1. How do schools reinforce the gender binary? How might we speak back to these practices?

2. What spaces within our school could be made safer? Safer for whom? What might we do as a collective to address unsafe spaces?

3. How might we minimize violence and harassment in our schools? On social media? In society? What needs to shift? Whose responsibility is it to take action to address violence in schools, in society, and online?

Additional Resources:

1. Oltmann, S. M. (2016). “They kind of rely on the library”: School librarians serving LGBT students. The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, 7(1), 1-21.

Retrieved from here.

2. Day, J. K., Ioverno, S., & Russell, S. T. (2019). Safe and supportive schools for LGBT youth: addressing educational inequities through inclusive policies and practices. Journal of school psychology, 74, 29-43.