Mayor Ed Murray, along with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland, announced Wednesday that Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) “Safe Place” will expand to all 98 Seattle Public Schools. SPD Safe Place is a public education and visibility program aimed at preventing and responding to anti-LGBTQ bias crimes.
“While we see a rolling back of civil rights protections for LGBTQ people in some corners of the country, Seattle remains inclusive and welcoming to all people,” said Murray. “SPD Safe Place brings together businesses, community organizations, and the public to stand up against hate and intolerance. I applaud Seattle Public Schools for bringing this important program to our schools, empowering students to speak out against anti-LGBTQ harassment.”
Launched in May of 2015, SPD Safe Place is a voluntary program that provides businesses and organizations with decals and information on how to report malicious harassment, more commonly known as hate crimes. Training for these organizations includes when and how to call 911, sheltering victims of crime until police arrived, and proactive outreach about working with the SPD’s LGBT liaison officer.
“We are thrilled that SPD Safe Place is growing through a partnership with Seattle Public Schools,” said O’Toole. “We want to create a safe, inclusive community for everyone and are encouraged by the ongoing support we have received for this program.”
“Our district is proud to partner with the City and the Seattle Police Department to make all of our schools Safe Places,” said Nyland. “This is a continuation of our commitment to ensuring all our students feel safe and equal in our schools.”
SPD Safe Place program has reached 1,600 locations. Businesses, organizations and educational institutions can request SPD Safe Place placards or posters and learn about how to work with police to prevent and address anti-LGBT crime concerns here.