Today, HRC Foundation released a new back-to-school guide to equip parents, teachers, and allies of transgender students with information and resources to ensure that their schools are welcoming and safe for LGBTQ youth and the children of LGBTQ parents. The resource, which includes information on HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools professional development training modules and checklists for inclusive classroom practices and parent actions, comes during a period of increased attention to LGBTQ-inclusion in schools and harmful political attacks on transgender young people.
To delve deeper into the topics addressed in the guide and examine the legal landscape for LGBTQ students, HRC will be hosting experts in education equality during a live panel discussion on the HRC Facebook page at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 15. Guests include HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow, Director of HRC’s Welcoming Schools Johanna Eager, parent advocate J.R. Ford, who is the father of a transgender child, HRC Foundation HBCU Project Manager Leslie Hall, and will be moderated by HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride, the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention.
“Every student should feel safe and supported when they walk into school in the morning,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, the HRC Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Trainings. “Recent data on the experience of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students from the CDC underscored just how much work remains before every student is treated with dignity and fairness. Our new guide provides the nation’s educators and parents with the tools they need to make the promise of equality for all students a reality in the classroom every day.”
In addition to information on HRC trainings and checklists, the guide also includes recommendations of LGBTQ-inclusive books and ways for teachers to combat anti-LGBTQ comments or bullying.
HRC’s Welcoming Schools program works to make America’s elementary schools more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ students and the children of LGBTQ parents with trainings for schools and resources for parents, teachers, and administrators. The program grants the Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence to schools that meet benchmarks on LGBTQ equality, including inclusive policies, staff development, and lesson plans that feature LGBTQ identities. Earlier this year, Welcoming Schools organized readings across the country of the book “I Am Jazz,” about transgender activist Jazz Jennings, following the cancellation of a reading of the book in Wisconsin due to complaints from anti-LGBTQ activists at the Liberty Counsel.
To read more about HRC’s Welcoming Schools program, visit http://www.welcomingschools.org/