Help make the lives of atheist teens easier

In my capacity as high school organizer with the Secular Student Alliance I have been working for the last several months on a project called Secular Safe Zone.  It’s a means by which teachers can make it apparent that their classroom is a place where equality for non-believers is expected.  It will also identify that teacher as somebody a non-believer can speak to safely if they’re being bullied, considering coming out of the closet, etc.

It is my hope and belief that this program will go a long way toward reducing the higher suicide rate of atheist teens and improving their quality of life.

Many of you have already helped by submitting logos for the program.  Last week we decided on one.

Now we need to build the web site.  We already have somebody signed on to do the artwork, but now we need help building the web site.  Admittedly, I know nothing about this, so I turn to you guys.  I wish I could pay you, but I can’t.  I could pay you in hugs and gratitude (and buy you a beer or three at Skepticon), but that’s it.

If you’re still moved to help, the site must be built in Drupal 7.  If you have that skill set, shoot me an email at wwjtd21 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Oh, and here’s one that didn’t make the cut, but will still make PZ very happy…

Thanks everybody.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Daniel Fincke

    I’ve seen one of these for LGBT students at one of the universities I teach at and thought it was a great idea. How do we prevent unscrupulous non-allies from putting up a safe zone sign in order to bait vulnerable kids into talking to them instead of to genuine allies. Or am I just paranoid?

    • JT Eberhard

      All allies participating in the program will be required to attend an online training session with me and will need to pass that and be approved by the SSA before hanging anything up.

  • Alix Egbert

    I wish I could help! The only thing I can do is get on the site when I become a teacher, because I don’t even know what Drupal 7 is. If there’s anything I could do, let me know.

  •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    I, also, cannot program, but I expect the SSA would be willing to be listed as a provider of volunteer work for the kind folks who do volunteer, correct?

    If there’s anything that a website layperson like myself can do, let us know.

  • Mike de Fleuriot

    If you are willing listen to people who want to talk about such troubles or folk who are thinking about coming out, maybe you could make this known and give them a chance to approach you.

    Maybe JT could make a downloadable package for people who want to do this, and are outside his reach. Remember there are other countries out there, like Mexico and Canada…

  • DCBradshaw

    JTE: can we donate to this somewhere? (And have you considered Kickstarter or some other crowd-funding site?)

    • JT Eberhard

      You can always donate to the SSA. :) If we can’t find a volunteer(s), then we’ll have to pay someone to build the site, so the money could very well help.

      I will look into kickstarter. Thank you!

  • onefuriousllama

    Pity you want it in Drupal. Yes YES, that’s just my opinion. But seriously…

    I can program and would love to help so if the requirements ever change away from Drupal I’d be happy to code for free.

    • anthonyallen

      It’s not just your opinion.

      Having worked for a web host supporting CMS systems, can’t stand any of them. Far too rigid for my taste. (though I admit that I have not used Drupal before)

  • tynk

    I do asp.Net, jscript, HTML 5, CSS 3 programming intranet based web applications. Never heard of Drupal. But I will look into it and see what it is.

    • tynk

      Well, it appears to be PHP based which I do not know at all. Sorry JT. :(

  • John Eberhard

    Good project.

  • Forbidden Snowflake

    I really liked the octopus logo. Using an “Octopus’s garden” reference to denote a safe-zone would have been full of win.

  • NFQ

    Great idea and logo. FWIW, the college I attended did not require any training or certification to be allowed to display the little LGBTQ-friendly logo cards, and I never heard about anyone taking one and using it maliciously. On the other hand, the university I’m at for graduate school does require training for use of their logo/card thing, but it is a long and inconveniently-scheduled training session I’ve never been able to attend. I understand the motivaton behind requiring training, but I hope that in the process of working out the system you find a happy medium for it. Just my 2c.