Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Children and Families
In Focus: LGBTQ Children and Families
- Between 2001 and 2009, 12%-28% of LGBTQ students were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property each year.
- In 2013, 74% of LGBT students were verbally harassed (called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation, and 55% because of their gender expression.
- 30% of LGBT students reported missing at least one entire day in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable at school, and 10.6% missed four days or more.
Key Strategies for Inclusion
- Encourage LGBTQ students and families to self-identify. Emphasize the inclusiveness of the PTA and support for LGBTQ issues. Provide welcoming conditions so that self-identifying students and families feel safe and comfortable participating in PTA meetings and events. Respect privacy and confidentiality preferences.
- Advocate for LGBTQ student safety and success. Encourage professional development for all school personnel to understand, assess and improve school safety and climate for all students, including LGBTQ students.
- Educate parents and communities about LGBTQ discrimination and bullying. Support federal, state and school policies on harassment and bullying to address sexual orientation and gender identification/expression.
- Create and maintain a safe and accepting school environment for LGBTQ children and families. Support health education standards and curriculum that address the issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in a positive way. Support student-led initiatives and extracurricular clubs facilitating a climate of acceptance and inclusion.
- Support families. Offer connections to local and online information resources, and encourage family engagement with students and school staff.
- Proposed Resolution: On the Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class
- PTA Resolution Against Bullying: Supports policies and programs that address the prevention, intervention and elimination of bullying
- 2016 Outstanding State Advocacy Award: Massachusetts PTA’s LGBTQ advocacy plan to ensure the education, health, safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth
- Connect for Respect Toolkit: Guide for PTAs on ways to engage students to improve the school climate and reduce bullying
- Webinar: How to Tell When Your Child is Struggling Emotionally: Presented by National PTA and the American Psychological Association
- Article: Make Your School a Bully-Free Zone: How to recognize and interrupt bullying at school
- Movement Advancement Project has a great resources page as well as maps showing progress toward LGBTQ equality in each state.
- The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) offers resources specific to education and has conducted biennial national school climate surveys documenting the impact of LGBTQ harassment.
- Campus Pride focuses on college students but has relevance for high school students too.
- GSA Network provides guidelines for helping students and schools foster gay-straight alliances.
- Not In Our School Campaign offers A Quick Start Guide to mobilize students against bullying.
- PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center helps students and adults prevent and address bullying of all kinds.
 Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). (2014). The 2013 National School Climate Survey. Retrieved from http://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2013%20National%20School%20Climate%20Survey%20Full%20Report_0.pdf