How to support LGBTQ students? | Bite-Sized PD for Educational Equity

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Today’s Bite-Sized PD for Educational Equity was inspired by:

More Than a Safe Space: How Schools can Enable LGBTQ Students to Thrive

American Federation of Teachers

Key Statement: Many schools still struggle to support their LGBTQ students. LGBTQ youth are at higher risks to commit suicide, engage in substance abuse, experience harassment; and to struggle socially, emotionally, and academically in school. There are a number of ways that schools can embrace and support their LGBTQ youth.

How to Support LGBTQ Students?

Top Five Takeaways for Equity in Education

  1. Supporting LGBTQ youth includes enumerated anti-bullying policies, designed to address behaviors that target students who belong to marginalized communities. Such policies have been related to increased responsiveness on the part of school faculty.
  2. Supporting LGBTQ youth includes designated safe zones, often made explicit with stickers that are displayed by faculty who identify as allies. These stickers, along with ally-driven activities, enhance student perceptions of school safety.
  3. Supporting LGBTQ youth includes Queer Straight Alliance / Gay-Straight Alliance / Gender Sexuality Alliance clubs that are student-led and faculty sponsored. These clubs provide a safe space to promote friendship, esteem, leadership, as well as to provide adult support.
  4. Supporting LGBTQ youth includes teaching curriculum about issues directly related to or representative of the LGBTQ community. Culturally Responsive Curriculum is about ensuring how and what we teacher reflect who we teach, which includes our LGBTQ students.
  5. Supporting LGBTQ youth includes training adults on how to effectively sponsor QSA/GSA clubs, disrupt classrooms incidents of hate and harassment, navigate intersectionality among the LGBTQ population to avoid the mistake of treating all LGBTQ youth the same (p. 8).

How to support LGBTQ students? 

Teachers who are in charge of their classrooms know how to set up classrooms that encourage positive social norms and effective group work and collaboration among students. They model behavior. They show students how to stand up for others and stop abuse effectively. ...great teachers find relevant, intellectually challenging content that not only teaches history, fiction, grammatical conventions, and vocabulary, but also pushes students to explore the meaning of courage, empathy, honesty, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for one’s own actions (Rizga, P. 19).


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