Supporting students on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as their allies, is critical in the role of the school counselor as often, these students are most at-risk of being marginalized (at home and/or school) and exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, depression, self-harm. They are also disproportionately at risk for completion of suicide. The follow resources can greatly help school counselors support students of this demographic.
- Many resources exist to support LGBTQ+ students, families, and allies.
- It is critical to utilize the ASCA Code of Ethics, position statements, and in following your school’s policies when supporting LGBTQ+ students, advocating for change as necessary
- Q: Are there any middle schools that have taken on the LGBTQ topic? Anyone have a club at this level or allow flags to be displayed on clothes, backpacks, lockers etc.?
- A: We have a GSA for 7th and 8th grade students. We have reached out for support from GLSEN and their great resources. I have an ally flag hanging in my office and all of the counselors have a safe space rainbow sticker in their windows.
- A: We don’t have a GSA (yet), but hope to get one in place. As 6th grade school counselor this year, I have had more students than in years past who identify within the LGBTQ community, some openly, some not. We also have a number of staff members who are gay and/or married. We honor students’ preferred names and pronouns within the classroom setting and are currently debating the best approach for preferred names on student IDs. We are seeking ways to adapt to the needs of our trans students. School counselors and our social worker have ally posters and stickers posted in our offices or on our doors, as do some of our teachers. While still a work in progress, we continue to learn and grow in our support of all students. We have seen a marked improvement in the mental health status of our students as a result because they know where the safe spaces and safe people are.
- A: We just started a GSA club at our school that I’m facilitating, and we got support from Indiana Youth Group (IYG) to start it. Highly recommend!
- Q: Can you tell me what your school does in regards to students requesting we use chosen pronouns, in this case they/them? What are legal obligations? Violation of Title IX? I absolutely support it, but I’m trying to build a strong case to convince others.
- A: You may want to refer to these resources: https://www.glsen.org/
activity/respect-all-policy- recommendations-support-lgbtq- students and https://www.tolerance.org/ sites/default/files/2018-09/ TT-LGBTQ-Best-Practices-Guide.
- A: You may want to refer to these resources: https://www.glsen.org/
- Using the correct pronouns can make a huge difference for transgender students: https://news.utexas.edu/2018/03/30/name-use-matters-for-transgender-youths-mental-health
- School counselors may very well be the only means of support for an LGBTQ+ student; any support, even a listening ear and acceptance, can be pivotal.
- School counselors are in a unique and exciting position to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ students, families, and allies.
- Registering your Gay-Straight Alliance:
Register your Gay-Straight Alliance now and get support throughout the school year!
- Indiana Youth Group – Indiana Youth Group (IYG) creates safe spaces, provides wellness programming, and educates LGBTQ youth and the community.
- Trans Youth Handbook from Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic
- https://www.hrc.org/resources/schools-in-transition-a-guide-for-supporting-transgender-students-in-k-12-s One of the best resources available for transgender student support socially/emotionally, legally, academically from grades K-12.
- https://www.glsen.org/– national support for LGBTQ+ youth, allies, and families, as well as guidance on starting a GSA (Gay-Straight or Gender and Sexuality Alliance) at your school.
- https://www.glsen.org/educate/resources/curriculum– resources for educators
- https://www.glsen.org/educate/resources/lesson-plans– lesson plans
- https://www.glsen.org/educate/professional-development/toolkits– professional development toolkits, including a Safe Space toolkit
- http://www.indianagsanetwork.org/– Indiana Gender and Sexuality Alliance (state-level support)
- https://www.glaad.org/– Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- https://www.thetrevorproject.org/#sm.00ycdnjl1bvqdin10o72hngcv2a1v– The Trevor Project- support for LGBTQ+ youth considering suicide; talk and text lines
- ASCA’s LGBTQ+ Position Statement: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/PositionStatements/PS_LGBTQ.pdf
- ASCA’s Position Statement: Transgender and Non-Conforming Youth: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/PositionStatements/PS_Transgender.pdf
- Communicating a Change in Gender Status
- The Trevor Project (unique resources for LGBTQ youth on suicide prevention)
- National Day of Silence (GLSEN)
- Transgender Student Support (article)
- The Safe Zone Project -a free online resource for powerful, effective LGBTQ awareness and ally training workshops. Includes curriculum
- Supporting Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Diversity in K-12 Schools, Edited by Megan C. Lytle and Richard A. Sprott, 2020, ISBN: 978-1-4338-3295-6
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This post was created by IJKL ContentManager on August 7, 2016.