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LAUSD Teachers and Staff Don Ally Badges for LGBT Students

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LAUSD will pass out thousands of ally badges for teachers and staff members to come out as allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students beginning Friday.

Friday marks the beginning of the "Out for Safe Schools" initiative that coincides with the 25th annual National Coming Out Day.

"We want all our youth and staff to know that is it safe to be you in LAUSD,” Superintendent Dr. John Deasy said in a statement.

The joint initiative between the LAUSD and LA Gay and Lesbian Center aims to do something to reverse the trend of suicide by LGBT students.

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“Every day, LGBT kids are vulnerable to taunts and abuse — physical and verbal — simply because they’re different,” said Alan Acosta, the Center’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. "Beginning tomorrow, every one of L.A.’s 655,000 public school students will know and see there are adults at their school who support and care about LGBT kids."

Research indicates that 11% of LAUSD students identify as LGBT, and 16% have LGBT family members.