Why Create LGBTQ-Inclusive Elementary Schools?
Students should go to school without fear of harassment, including anti-LGBTQ and gender-based bullying.
Students targeted with anti-gay putdowns are more likely to report higher levels of depression and anxiety regardless of their sexual orientation.
Educators, as part of their jobs, ensure safe and welcoming learning spaces for all students and their families, so it is important to address all kinds of disrespectful comments, including anti-LGBTQ statements. With age-appropriate language, educators can effectively address anti-LGBTQ comments like “that’s so gay” or “fag” to foster a more respectful community.
Students need to understand the world around them.
Starting even before elementary school and continuing throughout their lives, students will have and encounter people who have LGBTQ family members and friends — or may be LGBTQ themselves. Without background knowledge about LGBTQ people or only knowing myths and stereotypes, students are not adequately prepared to understand and respect LGBTQ people.
Learning about LGBTQ people from a family-based framework is a perfect way to discuss students to the topic that bases LGBTQ people in conversations about love, family and authenticity.
It is important to dispel harmful stereotypes and prejudices.
Students already know words like “gay” and “transgender,” from TV, the internet or from their friends, but many may not completely understand what these words mean.
Learning about LGBTQ people in a classroom ensures that students understand these words and decreases the likelihood that students will use anti-LGBTQ put-downs in the classroom or on the playground.