According to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network’s 2015 National Safe Schools Survey, 57.6% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, while 43.3% felt unsafe because of their gender expression. Additionally, 98.1% of LGBTQ students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) at school. 67.4% heard this language frequently or often at school, and 93.4% reported that they felt distressed because of this language.

Educators are uniquely positioned to address these issues and work towards creating a safe, supportive and affirming school environment for LGBTQ students. Every student deserves the right to attend a school that fully embraces them for who they are and allows them to achieve their full potential. Educators are a powerful force in creating an LGBTQ-affirming school.

However, it is equally essential that LGBTQ educators are safe and supported in their schools and communities. Recent attacks on civil rights laws protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination in the workplace not only undermines a safe working environment and positive school climate, but also fundamental human rights.

Every student and school employee deserves a safe, supportive, and affirming school environment. I, as a caring educator, pledge to create that space for LGBTQ students and staff.

  • I will talk to and share resources with my colleagues to educate them on the needs of LGBTQ students and educators.
  • I will advocate for safe, supportive learning environments for LGBTQ students and educators.
  • I will collaborate with my peers, parents, administration, community, and most importantly, my students and colleagues, to ensure everyone has access to LGBTQ-related supports and resources.
  • I will advocate for the rights of transgender students and educators and stand in opposition to all anti-LGBTQ legislation, policies, and practices.

Click here for more information on what is happening in your state and how you can take action.

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Racial Justice is Education Justice

Our education system is intended to uphold equal opportunity, but too often it also entrenches racial disparities by its design. We are engaging educators, students and allies to foster real dialogue around issues of racial justice in education and to mobilize and take action for education justice.

Support Ethnic Studies Programs

From campaigns to require schools to offer ethnic studies courses, to efforts to change the names of schools honoring Confederate leaders, students and educators are mobilizing to include voices of the diverse ethnicities that have contributed to the history and culture of the United States.

Black Lives Matter @ School

The goal of Black Lives Matter @ School is to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversation in school communities for people of all ages to engage with issues of racial justice.

Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Zero tolerance and other exclusionary school discipline policies are pushing kids out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system at unprecedented rates. Learn how educators, students and families are building relationships and community to address and prevent conflict.

Families Belong Together

Immigration issues are complicated. But some things are simple. We should not punish children for decisions they didn’t make. We should not separate families. And we should provide a trusted path to citizenship for immigrant Dreamers. Read how educators are taking action on these issues.

Dreamers

Dreamers are young, aspiring Americans – part of our communities. They are students who deserve every opportunity to learn, educators who inspire children each day, members of the military, our neighbors and friends. These are their stories. This is their voice.

School Safe Zones

  • View an interactive Google map to see where school districts have passed or are considering Safe Zones policies to protect our immigrant students.

All students should have the opportunity to learn without the fear and distress that results from harsh immigration enforcement. Many school districts are making their campuses “safe zones” for immigrant students and communities. You can be part of this movement.

Protecting Our Students' Civil Rights

In the face of federal civil rights rollbacks and threats, educators, parents and students are organizing to adopt school board policies that strengthen student protections. Find model policies and strategies that will empower you to ensure all students’ right to a safe and affirming school.

Supporting LGBTQ Youth

LGTBQ students face unique challenges in our schools. They are more likely to face bullying and harassment leading to poor grades, higher dropout rates and homelessness. Safe and affirming schools are a core element of student success.

Educational Equity for Women and Girls

All students deserve equal access to educational opportunities. However, girls and women often face structural barriers that threaten their success in school and beyond. Girls of color are more likely than white girls to face unfair discipline. And sexual harassment and violence in school are problems that confront most all girls. Learn how educators, students and allies are mobilizing to support the needs of all students — regardless of gender.

Facing Hate and Bias at School

All students have a right to a public education in a safe learning environment. But right now, many of our students are scared, anxious, and feeling threatened. Students and educators around the country are reporting hostile and hateful environments in their schools and communities. When students feel that they are not welcome, their ability to learn and thrive is diminished.