Creating safe and supportive learning environments for LGBT students can make ALL your students safer.

An educator’s responsibility, first and foremost, is to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. Over time, the definition of  “all students” continues to expand beyond the stereotypical “average” student. Our schools contain students with diverse learning, socio-emotional, and physical needs. Just as the movement to provide an appropriate public education to students with special educational needs required schools to examine and revise the the ways in which students were educated, educators are now called to appropriately respond to the challenges of ensuring a safe and supportive environment for another previously underserved population - LGBT students.

As an organization, ESSN believes that this issue is not a battleground between disparate views, but rather another opportunity for evolving and improving our daily practices for ALL students, moving closer and closer to the day when every student feels safe and supported in the school environment.

Despite the media attention, political hysteria and apparent misunderstandings, creating safe and supportive learning environments for LGBT students will not fundamentally undermine or change the way we operate our schools- it is work that can and must be done.

With this in mind we are pleased to offer common-sense, education-based training for school administrators, Creating Safe and Supportive Environments for LGBT Students, that rises above the emotional rhetoric to rationally discuss the safety and support of ALL students.

This training is not based in political or social advocacy or furthering any particular agenda, but rather about dealing with the safety, ethical, and legal realities with which school administrators are faced.

Our goal is to empower educators and administrators with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to appropriately, and effectively meet the needs of ALL their students, including those who are LGBT.

The Creating Safe and Supportive Environments for LGBT Students training:

  1. Examines strategies and recommendations for developing policies and procedures pertaining to LGBT student issues that protects the safety and interests of ALL students
  2. Discusses the ways in which effectively responding to the needs of LGBT students can improve the climate and culture of the school for ALL students
  3. Provides guidance to administrators about how to navigate conflicting attitudes and agendas surrounding LGBT issues in schools, while both maintaining a safe environment and complying with applicable laws.