This activity is to accompany the Teaching Tolerance article "Class Outing."
- Why might some LGBT educators be hesitant to “come out” to students, parents and colleagues?
- How does this hesitance impact both LGBT and straight students?
- What is your school’s culture, related to LGBT educators?
- How can you and your colleagues encourage a more tolerant culture for LGBT educators?
- There are many simple things you can do to create an inclusive environment for LGTB educators and students at your school. A few are listed below. Additional details and suggested resources are also included at www.glsen.org.
- Display LGTB-inclusive materials in the classroom and school
- Incorporate LGTB-themed materials into your curriculum.
- Teach about respect.
- Encourage students to participate in GLSEN’s Day of Silence (April) or Ally Week (October).
- Encourage your school to participate in No Name-Calling Week (January).
- Support LGBT student clubs.
- Find out your school’s antidiscrimination policies and your state’s antidiscrimination laws protecting LGBT workers. If there are no current policies in place, consider a way to start the dialogue and take action. The ACLU’s Get Busy Get Equal website has several ideas for getting started. These include:
- Present a proposal to the school board.
- Be prepared for opposition.
- Educate the community about LGBT harassment and discrimination.
- Iron out basic arguments.
- Build a time line.
- Measure your likelihood of success.
- Decide what to propose.
- Research policies.
- Identify people to help.
GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
The National Education Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Caucus
The American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT Project
GLAAD: Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation