The Albert Einstein Academy is opening a location in Lakewood that would be accepting of LGBTQ kids

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - Right now the hallways are empty and the classrooms are quiet, but Bruce Thomas is hoping by mid-August that will all change at a Lakewood school catering to the LGBTQ community.

"The excitement is significant," said Thomas, the superintendent of the Albert Einstein Academies. "People calling, agencies calling offering assistance, offering to volunteer."

Thomas says students are so excited because this school will be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer affirming, which means students of all sexual orientations will feel safe and welcome, with attention on all aspects of student life.

"We're going to do what we call a wrap around service, so it will involve healthcare for the kids, support group counseling," said Thomas.

While all three of the Albert Einstein Academies are accepting of all students, this location will be the first that's LGBTQ affirming.

They'll have a focus on helping kids in that community and teaching the students who aren't about acceptance.

"The suicide rate is much higher, the significant rate of depression and anxiety is high, they drop out of school more often, they're adjudicated more often and it has to do with the fact of not feeling safe in their traditional setting for whatever reason," he said.

"It really just feels like it's going to be a safe environment it's going to be somewhere where they can thrive," said Richard Pazol.

Richard Pazol's kid Reagen who identifies as A-gender non-binary is looking for a new school since their's just closed down.

"I think it will offer something similar, that they had at  Montessori High School which was kind of that individualized attention, the sense of community the project-based learning which I really think was an environment which they shined," said Pazol.

The public charter school is free and available to all Ohio residents. The next open house is June 20. For more information head to their website.

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