Love wins again -- this time for LGBT youth of Atlanta, Georgia.
A K-12 school devoted entirely to providing students and educators a phobia-free learning environment is currently being established in the southern capital, becoming the first of its kind for the state of Georgia.
Pride School Atlanta is a private school -- currently "floating" out of a local church and aiming to become fully operational in September, 2016 -- whose mission is, simply, "to provide LGBTQQIAA students, families and educators a safe, fun and rigorous learning environment free of homophobia and transphobia - a place that honors their identities so they can be themselves, find themselves, and find friends and mentors who can help them navigate the challenges of life and education."
Indeed, science backs up the theory that LGBT youth experience better self-esteem when they're able to "come out" early in life, but shockingly little has been done by Congress to protect the rights of teens against discrimination in the current education system.
PSA was founded by Christian Zsilavetz, an experienced and openly transgender educator who moved to the south after teaching high school courses in Seattle, who told Yahoo! he hopes the school will give children of all walks "full permission to be themselves."
"This is a place where they can just open up and be the best person they can be."
In addition to offering freedom from hate, PSA is also following the model of offering a flexible curriculum that utilizes "trust and democratic decision-making processes" and recognizes the fact that while some students respond well to structured, sometimes a little "freedom" is also necessary to help them thrive.
"In our model, borrowed from longstanding schools around the world, curriculum is flexible and there is no mandatory homework or testing," the school's website explains.
"Students are free to discover what, when and how they prefer to learn, trusted that their natural curiosity and desire to pursue personal goals will lead them to a rigorous and rich education. Each day will be full of opportunities for each member of the Pride School Family to become the best person they can be, ready to face the world with confidence, knowledge, and the ability to help others do the same."
As detailed by The Daily Beast, Pride School Atlanta, once launched, will join just a handful of schools dedicated to the LGBT students and/or educators -- including Harvey Milk High School in New York, The Alliance School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the now-closed Walt Whitman Community School in Dallas, Texas.
Zsilavetz began PSA as a response to his own experiences being a transgender education in public and private school school systems -- he wanted to inform his students of his background before they heard it from someone else (namely his then-five-year-old) but was told "I’d rather it didn’t come from you" by an administrator.
“I think right now what a lot of (LGBT) students face is separate but equal education in the public schools,” said Zsilavetz of the current state of LGBT teen treatment in schools across the country. “Because if you can’t go to the bathroom all day and you can’t use the locker room and you’re bullied in the classroom and the teachers aren’t standing up for you, you don’t have a full seat at the table.”