Beginning Friday, thousands of rainbow "ally" badges will be passed out to Los Angeles Unified teachers and staff members that they can wear to identify themselves as allies of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
The "Out for Safe Schools" initiative coincides with National Coming Out Day on Friday and was announced Thursday by leaders of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the school district.
"We want all our youth and staff to know that it is safe to be you in LAUSD," Supt. John Deasy said in a statement.
The badges have the word "ally" in seven languages on the front and a list of resources on the back. Teachers and staff members will be encouraged to wear them.
"Every day, LGBT kids are vulnerable to taunts and abuse -- physical and verbal -- simply because they're different," Alan Acosta, the center's director of strategic initiatives, said in a statement. "Beginning tomorrow, every one of L.A.'s 655,000 public school students will know and see there are adults at their school who support and care about LGBT kids."