GSAs and Educational Justice


This is the first section of our Workshop Series: Educational Justice Campaigns. GSAs and Educational Justice is meant to help students understand the importance of educational justice and the ways in which LGBTQ students interact in/under their school climate.

  • Gain a better understanding of educational justice
  • Learn about LGBTQ youth pushout
  • Learn the ways in which students are pushed out

LGBTQ Pushout (0:10)

TRAINER NOTE: Start workshop with an opening statement and then move into watching the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s video “LGBTQ youth pushout”

TRAINER 1 OPENING STATEMENT: Welcome to the GSAs and Educational Justice workshop. This is part of a series of workshops to get us ready for our educational justice campaign. First, let’s establish that GSA clubs are social justice clubs, ones that advocate and care for all queer youth in our schools and communities. As a social justice club, we must understand that queer youth are pushed out of classrooms and schools because of homophobic and transphobic policies, practices, and climates.

TRAINER 2: Just by being present on campus, GSA clubs work towards educational justice by providing a much-needed safe space for all queer youth.

TRAINER 1: But what is it called when students don’t feel safe and don’t want to be in school? Let’s watch this video to find out.

Dignity in Schools Bay Area 2013 Week of Action Video Series, Part 2: School Pushout Impacts LGBTQ Youth from Black Organizing Project on Vimeo.

TRAINER 1 SAY: Now that we’ve watched this video let’s talk about it. TRAINER NOTE: Read questions and take about 2-3 responses for each.


VIDEO QUESTIONS: • In your own words what is school pushout? • In what ways are LGBTQ youth pushed out? • Does this relate to your experience or a friends experience in school?

TRAINER SAY: Now that we’ve seen this intro video on LGBTQ youth pushout, let’s do a quick activity to show us exactly what we mean when we talk about LGBTQ youth pushout.



  1. Have each participant take a “Student Identities” card and line up at the back of the room.
  2. Place a line or marker approximately 20 feet away from the back of the room.
  3. Place a line or marker approximately 10 feet away from the first one.

TRAINER 2 SAY: This activity demonstrates the ways student identities are impacted by school climates, policies and conditions that push students out and lead to the school-to-prison pipeline. This activity focuses particularly on LGBT and gender non-conforming youth, but these conditions negatively impact most students and communities. The first line represents the point at which you might get pushed out of school, and the second line represents the point at which you might encounter the prison system. The activity is designed to show how certain groups of youth are statistically more likely to start off closer to being pushed out and to end up in the STPP.

TRAINER 1: Please look at and read your student identities card. If there is an identity that doesn’t make sense, please ask so we can clarify it for you. For this activity you will respond to the statements read by the facilitator based on the identity on your card. This is a silent activity.

Pushout Statements – download pdf to view


TRAINER 2: Thank you all for participating in that activity. Hopefully it helped give everyone a better understanding of school pushout and how it can affect LGBTQ youth and other youth as well.

TRAINER 1: Let’s end the workshop with a few last questions. TRAINER NOTE: take about 1-2 responses.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: • How have you seen school pushout play out on campus? • What does educational justice mean to you?

TRAINER 1: Thank you all for participating

Related Resources: