Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools

Sep 26, 2012

preparing for new school year

Kevin and our fantastic cast of 2012
Kevin and our fantastic cast of 2012

A quick update:

  • We are thrilled to report that we have signed on for another year of training teachers for the Beginning Teachers Support and Assessment (BTSA) program in Orange County, California.  We are making some exciting changes to the program, including using videos to help teachers assess their own comfort and competence in handling specific situations of homophobia in the classroom.  The teachers will be able to do the self-assessments online before attending our training - this will allow us to customize the training and to have more time for the interactive component
  • .We have a new partnership with two excellent organizations that are working to change school environments - Western Justice Center and Community Matters.
  • Our program will now be offered through the Institute for Safe and Inclusive Schools which will allow us access to a larger number of schools.
  • We've been approached by a student filmmaker who wants to do a documentary about the program- from the perspective of the student actors.  This student was part of our original cast so we are excited to have her play a role in telling our story. More on this soon!
Apr 3, 2012

public radio report and new partner

Cast 2011-2012
Cast 2011-2012

A quick update on the Creating Bias-Free Classrooms program:

We’ve had great success training hundreds of teachers in Southern California.  Here are a few representative comments:

  •  "There is a line in one of the scenes where the student says, 'teachers act like they don't see anything that goes on around here'.  That really struck me.  When it comes to homophobic bullying, there is some truth to that.  I never really thought about it before this training.  I react right away to racial remarks, why not anti-gay remarks?  This training did make me uncomfortable but probably also will make me a better teacher." 
  • "I didn't really think this would be relevant for 2nd grade teachers.  I was totally wrong.  After the training, I realized that there are all sorts of small incidents that occur all the time in class.  They may be too young too do the harshest type of bullying but the attitudes are already forming.  I can do something about that."
  • "Wow, this was very eye-opening. I'm sad to say that my schools really isn't a safe place for kids like Alex.  If every teacher went through this training, that would surely change."

Listen to a report on KPCC, public radio about our project:

We are developing a new partnership with Lee Wind, the creator of this award winning blog for LGBT teens:  Look for some exciting new offerings soon!

Sep 30, 2011

Preparing to train more teachers

youth actors rehearsing a classroom scene
youth actors rehearsing a classroom scene
A brief update on the project you support:
  • We have selected a cast of 12 students and have begun rehearsing for our first training on October 13.  It's a terrific group and they are very excited to be a part of the program.
  • We are adding a new trainer to our team this year - welcome Melissa Morgan!
  • We are thrilled to report that we have just received funding from the California Endowment for this project.  

As always, we are grateful for your ongoing interest in stopping homophobic bullying in schools.

Apr 26, 2011

Over 2,500 classrooms impacted this academic year!

Key Project Staff
Key Project Staff

Our project has successfully impacted over 2,500 classrooms this academic year!

Excellent news! Our project team and student actors are happy to announce that we have officially met our current goal of impacting over 2,500 classrooms during the 2010-11 academic year with our Creating Bias-Free Classrooms teacher training program.
Your donation helped ENCOMPASS reach this important milestone and we want to share the great news with you!
Of the estimated
2,522 classrooms we have served thus far during the 2010-11 academic year…
·     7% are Elementary School classrooms instructed by a teacher we trained

·     12% are Middle School classrooms instructed by a teacher we trained

·     50% are High School classrooms instructed by a teacher we trained

·     31% are classrooms in schools run by an administrator we trained

If you want to help us stop homophobic bullying within the schools that need us the most, please consider re-affirming your support by making donation at one of the following giving levels in celebration of our recent success.
·      $25 will provide training materials for 10 teachers

·      $50 will provide one teacher with follow-up training

·      $100 will train one teacher

·     $1,000 will train a group of 10 administrators

Thank you for your continued support. To learn more about our work to reduce prejudice and conflict among teens, please visit the ENCOMPASS website at


Dec 21, 2010

teachers comment on "Stop Homophobic Bullying"

Kevin Blake and student-actors in classroom scene
Kevin Blake and student-actors in classroom scene

Our strategy for stopping homophobic bullying in schools is to equip educators to intervene effectively.  To do this, we need to offer a training experience that is engaging, relevant and memorable.  Otherwise, we are just wasting everyone’s time.

Educating educators is not easy work.  They spend a lot of time in various types of compulsory training and have high standards. 

Because you are our partners in this project, we want you to know what teachers and administrators think about us.

  • 98% of teachers found Creating Bias-Free Classrooms an effective way to learn new teacher strategies for challenging homophobia.
  • 100% of administrators found Creating Bias-Free Classrooms an engaging way to learn about homophobia in the classroom.
  • 97% of teachers recommend Creating Bias-Free Classrooms to other educators.

Some representative comments from teachers

“I have to say, I was not looking forward to the class and left very fulfilled. The scenarios really shed light on possible real time situations that have or could occur in any class, any age group, any gender, or any creed. The session made me look introspectively into what makes an effective teaching environment in regards to safety, fun, and teaching."

“I honestly was not sure what to expect going into this session but can strongly say that I was pleasantly surprised. The instructor did a fantastic job of drawing my attention into the program by offering a great amount of information, supported by thorough yet simple explanations, which made the intentions of the program crystal clear. Needless to say, I look forward to attending my next ENCOMPASS session!"

 "I was pleasantly surprised by the theater element of the training. Seeing a classroom acted out in front of me illustrated issues better than a lecture could ever have. It made the material so much more interesting and alive. Then having the actor/teacher implement our suggestions where all actors had to improv made it real since it was unscripted. I think the theater format is the best way to deal with this material, and I can now see the reason for it. It is easier for me to remember biases I should be looking for since I can remember scenes and not just words."

“I was SUPER impressed by this training! I thought all the presenters and young actors did an amazing job. I wish all teachers had an opportunity to attend these trainings, they are so valuable."

“One thing I will take from the class is the focus on making your classroom safe for all students. I always knew it was important to do so, but watching the play made it easier to be able to detect when it may happen in your classroom. I want to make sure my students know that they are safe in the room and can feel like they can participate at any time."

Skyler Jackson training teachers in Orange, CA
Skyler Jackson training teachers in Orange, CA

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Pasadena, CA, United States

Project Leader

Lori Nelson

Executive Director
Pasadena, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools