Opinion: Safe Zone Posters Are Only Harmful
Throughout the school is a colorful display of some curious posters. These posters are shaped akin to a stop sign and read, “Safe Zone: I am an Ally. This is a safe zone. I am understanding, non-judgemental, and willing to provide an atmosphere of acceptance and assistance for members of the LGBT community.”
These posters have been dispersed across the school— I noticed one in my French teacher’s class this year, and likewise I discovered one outside my English teacher’s door. Roughly 40% of my teachers this year display these posters.
My concern with these posters is, if you think we need Safe Zones for LGBT students, do you think there are places in the school that aren’t safe? If there’s a real feeling that parts of MHS aren’t safe for members of the LGBT community, I think a solution would be far more intricate than hanging a poster.
All spaces in this school should feel reasonably safe to students and not even only for LGBT students. Afterall, the district announced this year that they’ll be introducing the Champions Program: the school is making an attempt for all students to feel secure at MHS.
I can understand an LGBT student may face problems that I never dreamed of, but these posters of security are only directed at just a few students.
If the LGBT community needs a safe zone, why not the Hispanic or Muslim communities as well? Why not even give straight people a place where they know they’ll be comfortable? These posters have the most wholesome intent, yet they simply send the wrong message. My opinion seems really petty, but I merely want the student community to become more united, not more divided.
Obviously, LGBT students should feel just as safe as straight students; however, can’t we try function as a single school and not draw lines between us? Our group identities are important, but I don’t think that they should ever define us. Otherwise, I feel my time would be better spent sewing a Jewish star onto my shirt, rather than writing this.
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