LGBTQ Resources

On June 30, 2016 the delegation body at the National PTA Convention held in Orlando Florida voted to add LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) children as a protected class. This resolution can be viewed here. 

In Focus: LGBTQ Children and Families

  • Between 2001 and 2009, 12%-28% of LGBTQ students were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property each year.[1]

  • In 2013, 74% of LGBT students were verbally harassed (called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation, and 55% because of their gender expression.[2]

  • 30% of LGBT students reported missing at least one entire day in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable at school, and 10.6% missed four days or more.[3]

Key Strategies for Inclusion

  • Encourage LGBTQ students and families to self-identify. Emphasize the inclusiveness of the PTA and support for LGBTQ issues. Provide welcoming conditions so that self-identifying students and families feel safe and comfortable participating in PTA meetings and events. Respect privacy and confidentiality preferences.

  • Advocate for LGBTQ student safety and success. Encourage professional development for all school personnel to understand, assess and improve school safety and climate for all students, including LGBTQ students.

  • Educate parents and communities about LGBTQ discrimination and bullying. Support federal, state and school policies on harassment and bullying to address sexual orientation and gender identification/expression.

  • Create and maintain a safe and accepting school environment for LGBTQ children and families. Support health education standards and curriculum that address the issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in a positive way. Support student-led initiatives and extracurricular clubs facilitating a climate of acceptance and inclusion.

  • Support families. Offer connections to local and online information resources, and encourage family engagement with students and school staff.

PTA Resources

Resources

In October, National PTA’s Every Child in Focus campaign centers on LBGTQ History Month. Using the PTA National Standard for Family-School Partnerships, we will explore ways PTAs can welcome and support the families of LBGTQ children in the school community.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. LGBT Youth: http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm

[2] Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). (2014). The 2013 National School Climate Survey. Retrieved from http://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2013%20National%20School%20Climate%20Survey%20Full%20Report_0.pdf

[3] Ibid.

© Arizona PTA 2016