Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-10-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


"Back-to-Safe-Schools" tool kit released
From a news release

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Washington, DC - (Aug. 22, 2012) - The Family Equality Council which protects, supports and represents the 1 million families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) today released the 2012 Back to School Tool Kit to help families who are concerned about the safety of children in school.

Emily Hecht-McGowan, director of public policy for the Family Equality Council, called the tool kit an important resource for LGBT parents who are raising 2 million children in our country today.

"Studies show that alarming numbers of students with LGBT parents and LGBT kids experience bullying, harassment, and discrimination at school because of who they are or who their parents are or how their families were formed," said Hecht-McGowan.

McGowan cited the following statistics from the report produced in cooperation with the Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Children of Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (COLAGE).

More than 40% of children with parents who are LGBT report experiencing verbal harassment & negative remarks because of their family composition

Nearly 85% of LGBT students report being harassed because of their sexual orientation

More than 63% report being harassed because of their gender expression

The 2012 Back-To-School Tool Kit includes the following tips for LGBT parents who want to ensure schools are safe and welcoming for all children.

1. Ask Questions: Ask the principal and your child's teacher if they are aware of other LGBT families at the school currently or in the past. Ask how school staff deals with comments like "that's so gay" or other anti-LGBT slurs. Ask whether the staff has received training on how to support students with LGBT families. Ask the school librarian if the library contains books that include LGBT families. Find out who is on the school board, PTA and other influential groups at school and research their records regarding inclusiveness.

2. Be Out: Be as out as you feel you safely can be in your community. Meet with your principal and teacher to introduce your family. Introduce yourselves to other families at school. Let your child's teacher know what language you use to describe your family relationships (e.g. Daddy/Papa, Eva has two moms). Be a guest speaker in your child's class, at a staff meeting or PTA meeting.

3. Get Involved: Parents can have a huge influence in their school communities when they get involved. Volunteer in your child's classroom or help out in the school. Take on a leadership role— join the PTA, site council, diversity committee, or curriculum review committee. Make your voice heard—express your thanks when the school or district takes steps to be LGBT inclusive and vocally oppose any anti-LGBT policies or actions. Speak up at a school board meeting or email board members and district administrators about issues that impact your family.

4. Check Policies: Take a look at your school or district's policies addressing discrimination, harassment and bullying to see if they include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. If they don't, work with administrators, teachers and other parents to change them.

5. Fix Forms: If your school forms say "mother/father" rather than "parent/guardian," ask if they could be updated to include all families.

6. Provide Resources: Suggest specific, concrete ways the school could change to be more supportive of your family. Offer suggestions for age-appropriate books, videos, curriculum and other materials that include LGBT families. Donate some of these resources if you can. Offer suggestions for how to deal with potentially sticky situations like Father's Day, Mother's Day, family-tree assignments, or how to respond when other parents have questions about your family. Let your principal and teacher know about LGBT-related staff development opportunities, such as local trainers or conferences.

7. Build Community: Organize a get-together with the parents/guardians of other children in your child's classroom. If there are other LGBT families at your school, organize an LGBT and Ally potluck at school. Start an LGBT school advocacy group in your district or region. There is great strength in numbers and in diverse voices advocating for fairness.

8. Expect More! Whether your school is just beginning the process of becoming a welcoming environment for LGBT families or has already taken great strides to do so, continue to raise your expectations. Nearly every school could take further steps to become even more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT families. Help your school move to the next level.

The kit, along with additional resources for parents, can be downloaded from the Family Equality Council website at

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Millions confront bullying by to "going purple" on social media Oct. 15 2015-10-08
LGBT Student Safety Program piloted in LA school district 2015-10-07
Lambda Legal expands LGBT youth advocacy 2015-10-07
Talk on youth homelessness Oct. 27 at All Chicago 2015-10-07
Northlight Theatre takes audiences to 'Charm' school 2015-10-07
Safe-schools group honors allies, advocates at homecoming 2015-10-07
Chicagoans 'Sleep Out' to fight youth homelessness 2015-10-07
Chicagoans to 'Sleep Out' to fight youth homelessness 2015-10-07
Report offers solutions in fighting school-to-prison pipeline 2015-10-06
All Chicago's Learning Center to discuss LGBTQ homelessness 2015-10-06
Lambda expands work for LGBT youth: Ingelhart joins Midwest Regional Office 2015-10-04
New online publication ProudYouth: For, by, and about youth 2015-10-01
LGBT Community Fund awards $280,000+ to local groups, addressing gaps for youth, aging 2015-10-01
Safe-schools group honors allies, advocates at homecoming 2015-09-29
Charm play features look at transgender charm school 2015-09-29
Guide promotes safety, sell-being of LGBT youth in justice system 2015-09-29
Chicago LGBTQ youth to celebrate National Coming Out Day 2015-09-27
Chicago homeless youth rally to end budget impasse 2015-09-24
Providers, legislators rally to keep homeless youth from dangers of the streets 2015-09-23
Bully Project uses film, education, litigation to assist schools 2015-09-23
School reverses position on lesbian student's right to wear t-shirt 2015-09-22
"Not a Sin" film highlights religious rejection, homelessness among LGBT youth 2015-09-21
Budget crisis endangering safety of homeless youth, rally Sept. 23 2015-09-21
COH to be first LGBT Community Center to house Boy Scout troop 2015-09-16
Upcoming: Day With HIV; Ashley Judd at CFW; safe-school honors; Surrogacy seminar 2015-09-16
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Back to school: Bathrooms 2015-09-16
Survey: State budget impasse causing homelessness in Illinois 2015-09-10
Upcoming: Queer-studies minor; Race forum part of Chicago Ideas Week 2015-09-09
LGBT Community Fund awards $280,000+ to local groups, targeting youth, aging 2015-09-04
MOMBIAN Back-to-school reflections and resources 2015-09-02
Millions to 'go purple' to stand against bullying Oct. 15 2015-09-01
Project Fierce Chicago buys building in North Lawndale 2015-08-28
Springfield bishop implements guidelines for Catholic schools 2015-08-28
Portland, Oregon, Catholic school to protect openly gay employees 2015-08-27
Project Fierce buys building for LGBTQ youth housing 2015-08-26
School news: Campus Pride list; new GBT research study 2015-08-26
BOOKS New book spotlights out high-school and college athletes 2015-08-26
Alliance's Homecoming to honor visionary Safe Schools heroes 2015-08-25
Purple Tie Affair to benefit Youth Empowerment Performance Project 2015-08-22
Local gay athlete excels in high school, now off to U. of I. 2015-08-19

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.