This webinar was originally recorded on December 14, 2021 as a part of the Creating Supportive Environments for LGBTQIA2+ Students and Staff in Schools webinar series.
This webinar series brings professionals from the school mental health field to share knowledge, lived experiences, affirming practices and resources to create supportive spaces for the LGBTQIA2+ community in schools in our region. Sessions include content about understanding gender identity and language with a safe space to practice pronouns, exploring gender affirming support practices in schools for students, school communities, families and school staff as well as a session dedicated to a Q & A.
NOTE: One of our panelists was unable to answer a question live. Please read their answer below.
Key ways to change district policy:
- As educators, you have direct access to school administration and leadership. This access is crucial in advocating for a change in district or school policy. One way to advocate for a change in policy is to organize a group of like-minded educators to meet with your school’s leadership. Depending on your specific situation, you may be advocating for a change in anti-bullying policy, a change in curriculum priorities, or other relevant changes. Approaching your administration with a model policy around these topics, whether anti-bullying or curriculum, is an effective conversation-starter.
- Another key way to change district policy would be to advocate directly to the school board. Organizing a group of like-minded educators and possibly a group of parents who feel similarly could increase the likelihood of a successful ask to the school board. Depending on the school district, you may feel comfortable attending a school board meeting and speaking during the open mic portion, or perhaps you submit feedback to the school board via their website. Bringing statistics from this policy brief on safe schools for LGBTQ+ students may help your case.
- Reach out to GLSEN Austin if you would like to request a free training for your school/school district on LGBTQ-inclusive school policies. We are available for sessions up to 6 hours in length and have nationally-trained volunteers prepared to help in whatever area your school community requests. For more information reach out to: [email protected]