School and Staff Resources
Improving School Climate and Learning for LGBTQ+ Students
Research demonstrates that LGBTQ+ students have better outcomes in school when the school has inclusive policies, supportive educators, access to student groups such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs), and LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum. Many resources and best practices for supporting LGBTQ+ students follow.
Creating Supportive School Climates for LGBTQ+ Students Webinar
Creating safe and supportive school environments for LGBTQ+ students is not only critical to their health and well-being, but essential for them to learn, succeed academically and to thrive. Watch the Creating Supportive School Climates for LGBTQ+ Students webinar. It focuses on how schools and school staff can improve school climate for LGBTQ+ students. Clark Hoelscher, Ph.D., a program specialist for Out for Equity in Saint Paul Public Schools, will discuss LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum and how it contributes to creating school climates that affirm students' identities. The webinar also explores school policies, student groups, supportive educators, and working with the families of LGBTQ+ students.
Student Groups that Support LGBTQ+ Students
GSAs are student-led groups that support LGBTQ+ students. In the past, GSA has often stood for Gay Straight Alliances, but increasingly GSA stands for Gender and Sexuality Alliances a name that clearly communicates that all students are welcome. If you’re interested in starting a GSA at your school or joining a statewide network of GSAs, learn more by visiting OutFront Minnesota’s website.
LGBTQ+ Inclusive Curriculum
It’s important that all students see themselves represented in the school community, inside instructional materials and all students need to learn about the positive contributions of all people, including LGBTQ+ people Curriculum and teaching methods that recognize and affirm LGBTQ+ students as well as the positive contributions of LGBTQ+ people have made to the world, help establish a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students and all students. Read more about this in Implementing Lessons That Matter – The Impact of LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum on Student Safety, Well-Being and Achievement. GLSEN, an education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, has a variety of resources and tools. Find resources on GLSEN’s website. Review GLSEN’s inclusive curriculum resources.
While a LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum weaves into all subjects from math to language arts, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising is bringing more attention to LGBTQ+ history. The Stonewall Uprising began on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. The raid continued a pattern of police harassment of LGBTQ+ people. But on that day, patrons didn’t disperse as they had previously. They stayed and fought back against oppression and discrimination. Read more about this on Teaching Tolerance’s website.
Bullying and LGBTQ+ Youth
LGBTQ+ youth and those perceived as LGBTQ+ are at an increased risk of being bullied. Review resources on safe and supportive learning environments for LGBTQ students. Other resources include:
- Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students Toolkit to help school districts and charter schools create school environments where transgender and gender nonconforming students are safe, supported and fully included, and have equal access to the educational opportunities provided to all students.
- GLSEN, a national education organization offers several resources focused on ensuring safe schools for LGBTQ+ students and all students. Resources include Ready, Set, Respect! It is a toolkit GLSEN developed in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).
- “Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools” is a resource that can serve as a roadmap for educators and parents on providing safe and supportive environments for all transgender students. Produced by the National Education Association, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Gender Spectrum, along with HRC Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, the resource offers practical advice, field-tested tips and narratives of real experiences from students and educators.
- “Transgender Students in Schools: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Public School Boards and Staff” is a resource developed by the National School Boards Association (NSBA). NSBA says the guide answers many of questions about what is needed to support safe learning environments for all students, including transgender students.
- “Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Students in Schools: Key Recommendations for School Administrators” is a guide from the American Psychological Association.