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! Contact the Family Equality program team here.
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!