Ala Mombian.com – August 24, 2012
Back-to-school time is here, which means it’s time for my annual back-to-school resource post, a tradition I first started way back in 2006. My own son wasn’t even in school then. He’s grown and changed, and so has this list. I originally wrote a version of the below as part of one of my newspaper columns last year. I’ve revised it somewhat and hope it remains useful, whether your children are just entering school, starting a new school, or encountering new issues along their educational journey.
For families with young children
The Human Rights Campaign’s An Introduction to Welcoming Schools guide is perhaps the best single resource for families with young children. It aims to help elementary school administrators, teachers, parents and guardians address family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying, and includes a bibliography of books on all kinds of families, LGBT and not.
Also be sure to check out the trailer for Welcoming School’s DVD, What Do You Know? Six- to twelve-year-olds talk about gays and lesbians, an award-winning professional development film for elementary school staff and parents. If you buy the DVD (setting you back a mere $20), you’ll get the 13-minute film, a two-minute trailer, a four-minute special feature Teachers Respond, and a Facilitation Guide, as well as closed captioning and Spanish subtitles.
The Family Equality Council’s “Back to School Tool”—newly revised for 2012—is a useful short guide for LGBT parents on how to make our children’s schools safer and more inclusive. The organization also offers “Opening Doors,” a short but helpful booklet with tips for educators and others. It discusses the kind of prejudice children of LGBT families may face, how educators can support them, and how they can answer questions other children may have about them.
For families with older children
Many resources aimed at older students focus on LGBT youth, but most also have applicability to children of LGBT parents, whatever the children’s sexual orientation or gender identity:
GLSEN has extensive safe-schools materials for both educators and students, including information on its educator training program and starting gay-straight alliances.
PFLAG’s Safe Schools for All: Cultivating Respect program has similar materials (in both English and Spanish) for making schools safer, reducing bullying, and providing comprehensive health education. They also offer a certification program for PFLAG members who want to assist with staff training and policy creation in local schools.
The Gay-Straight Alliance Network has materials for starting or sustaining a GSA, as well as the guide “Beyond the Binary: Making Schools Safe for Transgender Youth,” a joint project with NCLR and the Transgender Law Center.
NCLR has additional safe-schools information, including samples of anti-harassment policies and memos to school boards.
The American Library Association’s Rainbow List offers LGBT-inclusive children’s and young adult books chosen buy a committee of librarians for quality as well as content.
Click here to read the entire article.