For Educators & School Personnel

Teachers and Students

Educators are a vital part of making schools safe.

Why should I be involved?
Through both local and national data as well as anecdotal evidence, we know that schools are not always a safe place for LGBTQ students. According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 51.6% of LGBQ students in Boulder County reported being harassed on school property, and 15.5% did not go to school due to feeling unsafe at school. In addition, the YRBS indicates that LGBQ students are at a higher risk than their straight counterparts for many risky behaviors such as suicide, self-harm and drug-use.

As an educator or school employee, you are in a unique position to contribute directly to creating a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ students, families and staff. By asserting yourself as an ally, supporting the efforts of organizations such as the Safe Schools Coalition and
your school's Gay-Straight Alliance, and by not tolerating hateful language and behaviors directed towards the LGBTQ community, you can help make students, staff and families feel safe and supported.

What can I do to help?

  • Let it be known you are an ally.
  • Hang a "Safe Zone" sign in your classroom or office (contact the Safe Schools Coalition or a counselor or Prevention/Interventionist at your school to find out how to get one!)
  • Speak up when you hear inappropriate comments or language such as "that's so gay," "fag," or "dyke." Let it be known you will not tolerate such language.
  • Include LGBTQ people, events and stories in your lesson plans (historical figures, notable events in history and politics, authors, etc.)
  • Include the concepts of inclusion, equality and diversity into your lesson plans.
  • Support your school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). Every high school in St Vrain Valley has one - find out where they meet, who they are and what you can do to support them. Many GSA's need help getting the word out about their presence and mission, and you can help them with that - ask if you can hang a poster advertising their meetings in your classroom or office. Offer to have members of the GSA speak to your class about their mission and other important LGBTQ issues. Ask if you can attend some of their meetings or even co-sponsor the GSA.
  • Join the St. Vrain Valley Safe Schools Coalition - school staff are key to the coalition's mission, and all are more than welcome to join us for our monthly meetings!

What resources are there for me?

GLSEN - Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
GLSEN Website
A national organization geared towards increasing acceptance, safety and respect for LGBTQ students, staff and families in schools. Provides many resources for teachers, including lesson plans and tips for how to create an LGBTQ inclusive curriculum.

Think B4 You Speak Campaign
Think B4 You Speak Campaign: Website
A national campaign launched by GLSEN focused on eliminating hateful language that is commonly used, such as "that's so gay." Provides many resources for educators on how to respond when you hear hateful language, as well as classroom resources for educating your students on the importance of not using hateful language.

GSA Network
Gay Straight Alliance Network: Website
A national organization providing resources, tools and leadership to Gay-Straight Alliances, and schools hoping to start a GSA. Also provides LGBTQ inclusive lesson plans and activities.

OASOS (Open & Affirming Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Support)
Boulder County OASOS
An organization within Boulder County Public Health which provides support for LGBTQ youth. OASOS provides training and educational opportunities for schools on how to create safer and more inclusive environments for LGBTQ persons.