Family Equality Council works at the federal, state and local level to ensure that all children have the same opportunity to thrive – which requires that they feel safe, supported and valued in school and are able to attend without fear of bullying, violence, harassment, and discrimination because of who their parents are or how their families were created.
The importance of the issue:
Students show that alarming numbers of students with LGBT parents report experiencing bullying, harassment, and discrimination at school because of who their parents are and how their families were formed. As a result, these students are deprived of equal educational opportunities and are too often left with few or no avenues for recourse. Research shows that unchecked bullying and harassment negatively impact student achievement by decreasing interest in school, increasing absenteeism, and decreasing concentration levels for students. Leaders in the fields of education and child welfare agree that positive school climate and culture is a critical condition for promoting students' academic success.
Safe Schools Improvement Act
Student Non-Discrimination Act
Elementary and Secondary Education Act
We encouraged Congress to include safer schools principles for LGBT students and students with LGBT parents in education legislation.
We participated in a letter-of-the-day campaign to the Senate urging Senators to cosponsor the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
Department of Education Strategic Plan
We submitted comments, as Family Equality Council and as part of the National Safe Schools Partnership, to the Department of Education after they released their 2011-2014 strategic plan with no mention of LGBT students. As a direct result of our letters, “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are now included in every enumerated list within the Equity section of the plan, making it fully inclusive of the LGBT community.
FEDERAL STUDENT AID APPLICATION (FAFSA)
We submitted comments urging the Department of Education to revise the Federal Student Aid Application to ensure that all students, including those with two mothers or two fathers, can fill out the FAFSA confidently and accurately.
We are part of a coalition working to respond to attacks against safer schools. In Vallejo, California, we mobilized families to support curriculums that included families with LGBT parents.
We submitted testimony in support of passing an enumerated safer schools bill that would protect all students, including students with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The bill passed.
We are part of the Bully Free DC coalition and submitted testimony in support of an inclusive safer schools bill that would protect all students, including students with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
We submitted testimony in support of an inclusive safer schools bill that would protect all students, including students with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
We submitted testimony in opposition to a safer schools bill that lacked the enumerated categories that would protect students with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
We are members of the Minnesota Safe Schools 4 All Coalition. Click here to learn more about the coalition.
As members of the Safe Schools 4 All Coalition, we oppose the “neutrality policy” in place in the Anoka-Hennepin school district.
We opposed an attempt to strip language from New Hampshire’s safer schools law that protected LGBT students and students with parents who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. We successfully defeated the bill.