Last year at back-to-school time I published a list of school-related resources from various LGBT organizations. I’ve revised and reposted it below. It focuses on key, accessible resources for parents and educators, and is not meant to be absolutely comprehensive. If you have any further suggestions, though, please leave a comment.
My own son started kindergarten this week, and I’ll offer further thoughts on the great adventure of education in the next few days, once both he and I have adjusted to our new schedules.
- HRC’s Welcoming Schools Guide: LGBT-inclusive tools, lessons and resources for elementary schools on family diversity, gender stereotyping, and name calling. Lots of useful information on creating a welcoming environment for all students, plus specific lesson plans and suggested children’s books. See also my article about the genesis of this project.
- Good supplements to the above are the films That’s a Family (for elementary school students), Let’s Get Real (about bullying and name calling; for middle school students), and It’s Elementary (for educators), all part of media company Groundspark’s Respect for All Project, though they may be pricey for home viewers. Each comes with a free curriculum guide; excerpts from the guides for That’s a Family and Let’s Get Real are online. For more on It’s Elementary and it’s DVD release last fall, see my interview with filmmaker Debra Chasnoff, or catch the segment about it on this month’s In the Life. (Check your local PBS listings.)
- The Safe Schools Coalition: An international public-private partnership in support of LGBT youth. A plethora of resources, many of which are applicable to children of LGBT parents, regardless of the child’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Lots of useful handouts for educators.
- The Rainbow Report Card from the Family Equality Council: An interactive tool that generates custom recommendations for your family’s school situation.
- The Family Equality Council’s Publications Page: Scroll down to the “Making Schools Inclusive” section for more brochures on what you can do in your community. (No direct link.) You may also want to browse their LGBTQ family-friendly book list (PDF link).
- Tips for Making Classrooms Safer for Students with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents: Includes a glossary of terms to share with educators and other allies. From COLAGE.
- Tips for Making GSAs Inclusive of Youth with LGBTQ Parents, also from COLAGE, is a new piece that makes an important point for solidarity within our broad community.
- Advice on school-related topics at Answers from Abigail, by Abigail Garner, the daughter of a gay dad.
- Safe Schools Resources From PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
- All Families Welcome: Making Your School Safe for Students with LGBT Parents (PDF link): A short brochure from NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) and the California Safe Schools Coalition.
- Be and Ally & Friend guide, including information on Teen & Student Allies and the concise 10 Ways to Be an Ally and a Friend. From GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
- The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper, while primarily for parents, also includes a list of steps schools can take to support gender-variant and transgender students. (See my full review.) Brill’s Gender Spectrum organization also conducts school trainings, and has further resources available at its Web site.
- The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition has numerous resources for parents and educators, including lots of recommended children’s books and videos.
Also useful are the general resources of:
- Gay Lesbian Straight Alliance Network: Ensuring safe schools for all LGBT students.
- Gay-Straight Alliance Network: A California-focused, youth-led organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources.
A timely related news item is that the New York City Mayor, City Council Speaker, and Schools Chancellor have just announced a new initiative to reduce bias-based bullying and harassment in the city’s schools.
May this school year be full of learning, friendships, and joy for all our children.