When Micha Thau, a student at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, came out of the closet at the end of his sophomore year, he felt that the school needed to be clear about its policy.
A open policy of support would have saved him two years of anxiety and torment. Micha and Rabbi Ari Segal drafted a pledge for LGBT students to let them know from day one that they should have no fear. Watch the Eshel Video calling all alumni to join the pledge campaign.
Urge your School to Take the Pledge
Make a “Take the Pledge” Video
If you’re ready to join hundreds of alumni then pick up your smart phone and urge your school to “Take the Pledge.” Here are a few examples from students at Brandeis. Watch this and then follow the directions below.
- Hold your phone horizontally.
- Introduce yourself: Share whatever information you are comfortable sharing; ideally, your name, what high school you attended, and what year you graduated.
- Give a Short Reason why you feel that your High school should Take the Pledge…for example:
- It’s about time!
- My best friend was gay.
- Our kids need to know that it’s going to be alright.
- The pledge would have made a huge difference in my teen years.
- The values of that you instilled me are the reason that I am asking you to take the pledge.
- End with a clear call: HAFTR, Ramaz, SAR, Flatbush, Frisch, YULA, Maimonides, Ida Crown (fill in the blank)….TAKE THE PLEDGE!
- Post your Video on social media (facebook, instagram or twitter) and tag it with #eshelpledge
- When you post, Share the Eshel Pledge Invitation Video:
- Lastly, Sign the Pledge Petition that will go directly to your school administration and faculty
- Feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Thanks so much for helping us to launch this campaign to make Orthodox High Schools supportive environments for all our teenagers.
Sign the Petition
Read the Pledge
Eshel High School Pledge
Developed by Micha Thau and Rabbi Ari Segal of Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles.
*Our School* strives to be a nurturing and inclusive environment for all of our students. The administration, faculty, and students of *Our School* commit to upholding the values of kavod habriyot and derekh eretz in our relationships with each other. We commit generally to the values of inclusion and make the following pledge to our students
- NO EXPULSION:*Our School* supports and respects all of our students. We will not expel, dismiss, suspend or otherwise discipline students for coming out and being open about their gender identity or sexual orientation.
- NO BULLYING: No member of *Our School*’s administration, faculty, or student body will be permitted to harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
- NO REPARATIVE THERAPY: *Our School* will not recommend, refer, or pressure students towards “reparative” or “conversion therapy.”
- SUPPORT: *Our School* will strive to connect students struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity with the support services that they need. If appropriate services cannot be found on school grounds, we will connect students with such opportunities outside of the school.
- INTEGRATION: Being open about one’s sexual orientation will not preclude full participation in religious activities. *Our School* will provide closeted, and “out” students with religious guidance as they need it, with staff who are trained to help teens manage the coming-out process and its integration with religious values.
- OPEN ADMISSION: An applicant’s or a parent’s gender identity or sexual orientation will not have a negative impact on the admission process for *Our School*.