Day 4: Supporting the LGBTQIA Community

  • Everyone matters. 

    This includes students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, among others. These students may face unique educational, psychological, and health challenges. In these cases, the support of a school community can make all the difference. 

    In many instances, a teacher or staff member can become a student’s advocate, cheerleader, and mentor. This can make a significant difference in supporting academic and social success. 

    In Rush-Henrietta, we strive to create schools that are safe places for all students - including those who identify as part of this community. 

    In “Tips for Parents of LGBTQ Youth,” Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that people don’t need to be an expert in all things LGBTQ to let students know they care. “There's no right or wrong way to express love,” the author says. “Just be present and be open.” 

    Even if you’re not sure what to say, something as simple as, “I'm here for you. I love you, and I will support you no matter what” can mean the world to your child and their future.

    Adolescence can be a difficult time for many, as they learn to navigate the world and understand their own role in it. Having the support of trusted adults - parents, teachers, counselors, friends’ parents, religious leaders, etc. - can help make this time easier. A strong support system is integral to not just school success, but also as a basis for a strong sense of self and a successful transition into adulthood.

    Did You Know?

    Support clubs are available for interested students in our secondary schools, and Safe Zone signs at the Senior High School help show support for LGBTQIA+ students.

    Resources for Learning

    Option 1: Watch How You See Me: LGBTQ (3:34)

    Option 2: Watch Love Has No Labels (3:19)

    Option 3: Read 5 Things that You Can Do to Support Your LGBTQ Students

    Option 4: Read LGBTQ+ Youth and Schools

    Consider These Ways to Reflect, Grow, and Take Action

    Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:

    • What are some ways that you can show support for students, co-workers, family members, and friends who identify as LGBTQIA+?
    • What can you do to make your classroom, office, home, and neighborhood a safe space for individuals who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

    Ways to Get Involved:

    • Seek out local LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups and learn ways to show support. 
    • Reach out to a family member or friend from the LGBTQIA+ community. Check on them and their mental health. Offer support, if needed.

     

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