Department of Education Releases LGBTQI+ Toolkit
The Department of Education released a toolkit for “Creating Inclusive and Nondiscriminatory School Environments for LGBTQI+ Students.”
When schools implement supportive policies and practices for LGBTQIA+ youth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, all students experience less emotional distress, less violence and harassment, and fewer suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The toolkit offers policies and practices that schools can develop toward this goal, including:
- Using welcoming and inclusive language in school and district mission statements to express a commitment to providing a safe, supportive, and nondiscriminatory educational environment;
- Facilitating opportunities for students to find support from peers, teachers, and staff, such as student-led organizations and identifying supportive spaces on campus;
- Protecting LGBTQIA+ students from book bans that create a hostile environment in violation of federal civil rights laws;
- Adopting policies that affirm students’ right to be free from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and prevent bullying; and
- Expanding mental health resources to meet the needs of LGBTQIA+ students.
The toolkit also offers a list of federal resources, as well as a page of key concepts related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.