Identity safe classrooms are those in which teachers strive to ensure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success in the classroom. Acknowledging students’ identities, rather than trying to be colorblind, can build the foundation for strong positive relationships.
On February 12, 15-year-old Lawrence “Larry” King was shot in the computer lab of his school by a fellow student at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California. Larry died three days later. According to friends, Larry was perceived to be gay and gender non-conforming, and had been bullied at school. The suspect, a fourteen-year-old student, has been charged with first degree murder, and the case is being prosecuted as a hate crime.