LGBTQ students are particularly vulnerable to bullying, harassment, and discrimination at school. In fact, 9 out of 10 LGBT school students experience some form of mistreatment. For transgender students, district bathroom policies can profoundly impact their sense of safety and inclusion.
If you or someone you care for is an LGBTQ student attending school in the Seattle Eastside, an important first step is to learn your school district’s discrimination policies. Consult Eastside School Districts LGBTQ Policies and Procedures for the policies, procedures, and guidance documents that pertain to LGBTQ students in the Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, and Northshore school districts.
These state and federal agencies provide support for bullying and harassment.
- Washington State School Safety Center provides information on federal and state policies and programs that pertain to school harassment and bullying.
- www.stopbullying.gov is a US government program that provides information from various agencies on bullying and cyberbullying, including risk factors, prevention, and effective responses.
And these national organizations work to promote safer schools and provide extensive information and resources. (The ACLU, PFLAG and GLSEN also have Washington state chapters.) Some of these websites also provide free or low cost tools and curriculum.
- ACLU Teacher Resources provides extensive information on the rights of both teachers and students. You can subscribe to the Teacher’s network to receive emails on current civil liberty issues as well as download free copies of publications such as The Rights of Transgender People and Parents’ Guide to Public School Boards.
- PFLAG National provides the ten top ways to advocate for safe schools and how to Claim Your Rights.
- GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) is a leading safe schools organization with numerous state chapters, including one in Washington. It produces a Safe School Set that helps you access your school’s climate, policies and practices and includes a Safe Space sticker or poster.
- Welcoming Schools, a project by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, offers tools, lessons, training, and consultants.
For information on creating libraries that provide resources and safety to LGBTQ students, consult Librarians and Educators.