We’re excited to share two new resources for our families, our Safe Schools and Medical Provider template letters. These forms have been designed to be downloaded, filled in, and printed out to help make your community more sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ+ Families.
The Safe Schools form is a great resource to print out each year for your child’s teacher to share with them a bit about how to create a safe and inclusive classroom for youth from LGBTQ+ families.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve shared these forms and seen some changes in your community! If you have a story to share, please contact Amanda Hopping-Winn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plain text template:
Dear ________________________________________ ,
As we kick off this school year, I would like to share with you a little bit about our family. Our child, ________________ is part of an LGBTQ+ family. Specifically, our family consists of:
As I’m sure it is for you, ensuring that all children feel safe and welcome at school is a priority for our family. There are numerous small touches that can be done in the classroom to help create this culture of inclusivity. Below is a short list of steps you can take to support youth from LGBTQ+ families, as well as youth who identify as LGBTQ+ themselves.
- Ensure school forms list “Caregiver(s)” instead of “Mother” and “Father.”
- Check out the Safe Zone training (free and available online), and consider putting up a rainbow sticker, “safe zone,” or “safe space” sticker in your classroom.
- Offer a range of books that highlight the diversity of families.
- Assess the images around your room, and increase the diversity of family type, gender expression, race, and ability status represented.
- Refer to adults as “parents,” “caregivers,” or “grown-ups who love you,” instead of consistently saying “mom and dad.”
- Mention when someone you are studying in class is LGBTQ+.
- Incorporate family diversity in the examples you give during lessons (“Jake went to the store with his moms to go grocery shopping. He found 6 bananas, but the list said he needed 3. What should Jake do?”).
- Before designing activities for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, make sure your activity is sensitive to kids in the room who don’t have a mom or dad (or perhaps have more than one). Feel free to ask caregivers for suggestions!
- Ensure that all activities are welcoming and inclusive for all. For example, if your school has a Father/Daughter dance, transition to a Family Dance or Bigs/Littles Dance.
- Get into the habit of sharing your pronouns and asking others for theirs. Practice using “they/them” for an individual.
There are so many ways we can help make ALL children feel like our school is a place for them. If you have any questions about the ideas listed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Family Equality, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ families like mine. Learn more at familyequality.org/schools-toolkit.
I look forward to a great year together!