Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth at School

This January, Greater Boston PFLAG encourages you to make a #NewYearsResolution to support LGBT+ Youth. All month we will share ways folks can make a difference in someone’s life. Today we’re looking at some ways to support LGBTQ+ youth in schools!

No matter your connection to the school system – teacher, administrator, parent, student, community member – there’s ways for you to support LGBTQ+ youth!

As a teacher, you can make sure your class is safe and welcoming to LGBTQ+ students. Some things to do: have books with LGBTQ+ characters in the classroom library, have a rainbow sticker displayed, listen for and put a stop to anti-gay language like “that’s so gay” or “no homo”

As an administrator, you help set the tone of the entire school. You can make sure teachers and students are supported in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, anti-gay and anti-trans bullying is addressed promptly, and the school is following DESE’s LGBTQ+ and trans-specific guidance

As a parent, you can check in with your kid and make sure they and their friends feel supported. If your kid is getting bullied, you can file a complaint (forms should be on the school or district website or in the school handbook). You can also ask us to come do a training at the school!

Also, remember that we’re here for you if you want to talk to someone who understands! Email the office at info@gbpflag.org, contact our helpline at  https://gbpflag.org/helpline/,  or check out a support group: https://gbpflag.org/greater-boston-pflag-support-groups/

As a student, whether you’re LGBTQ+ or not you can join a GSA, or help found one if your school doesn’t already have one. GLSEN has more info about GSAs here: https://www.glsen.org/support-student-gsas

You can also speak up against anti-gay or anti-trans comments your classmates make! And if you are getting bullied or see someone else get bullied, you can make an official bullying complaint. Forms should be on your school or district website or in your student handbook.

Finally, any community member can contact the local school board and let them know you’re concerned about LGBTQ+ youth in your community. You can share that LGBTQ+ youth are still getting bullied here in MA and ask what they’re doing to measure and combat that problem.

A climate of increasing anti-gay and anti-trans misinformation feels awful, but we hope this thread helps you feel empowered to make a difference! So we can continue bringing you these tips, please consider donating to our cause! give.gbpflag.org/givenow