SC Equality is committed to ensuring a future where every student who walks the halls of our schools and who sits at the desks in our classrooms is safe and protected.
In 2011, we created the SC GSA Network (South Carolina Gay-Straight Alliance Network). The SC GSA Network is the only National GSA Network member in the Palmetto State. We partner with We Are Family in Charleston to provide the education, support and crisis management needs of all South Carolina's High School GSAs. Find us on Facebook!
At SC Equality, our safe schools initiatives have taken many forms, from legislative to educational.
Most recently, we fought against and defeated a discriminatory teen dating violence bill. The original bill was intended to educate students and train teachers on the behaviors and signs of teen dating violence. While favoring any bill that fights violence, SC Equality pushed to have this bill killed because it was amended with discriminatory language defining a dating relationship as one between two heterosexual partners. After a two-year battle and several attempts to pass an inclusive version of the bill, we finally killed the discriminatory legislation in 2010. In the 2011 legislative session, we educated and received commitment from Senate leadership this bill will NOT exclude the LGBT community! We look forward to working with our allies and partners in upcoming sessions to see the passage of an inclusive version of this important bill.
In 2008, in partnership with local, state, and national organizations, we led successful efforts to demand that the Lexington-Richland District 5 School Board continue their policy of non-curricular clubs, allow the existence of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), and implement training for school personnel regarding anti-gay harassment.
In the early years of the organization, we conducted training workshops for school psychologists and guidance counselors. These sessions educated these school officials on how to effectively advise gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students.
No matter what form it takes, from lobbying our legislators to holding a successful protect rally, we are committed to continuing our safe schools initiatives and ensuring that all students—gay or straight—are free from violence, abuse, and harassment at school.