Creating Caring Environments for All Students
Safe and Welcoming Schools Video Series
In Colorado, the impact of bias-based bullying is disproportionately felt by many students, particularly those who are perceived to be non-conforming to gender expectations, norms and stereotypes. By ensuring that all students feel they belong in their school community, schools can establish a culture that celebrates diversity and promotes active engagement in learning. Creating a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a research-based strategy to provide a safe space for our students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and their allies to meet, talk, build community and foster a sense of attachment to school.
Part 1: Leveraging State Support for Creating Safe Spaces in School
The creation of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is recognized as a best practice strategy to create a warm, welcoming space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender students and their allies. With significant support from state educational stakeholders, this video gets to the heart of why it is critical to address the social and emotional needs of these students in every Colorado school district, whether rural, urban or suburban.
Part 2: How to Create a GSA in Your School
It can seem daunting to start a GSA, particularly for students. Watch this video for a step-by-step guide to getting an Alliance off the ground, building a safe space and sustaining it with thoughtful marketing and messaging. This video also includes information on the Equal Access Act, which gives equal rights to students to start clubs and meet on school premises if your school already allows other clubs to do so.
Part 3: Colorado’s 2011 Bullying Prevention Law: What Every School and District Needs to Know
It is important to know the changes to Colorado law brought about by the passage of HB 1254, which extends the federal protection of LGBTQ students a matter of civil rights and harassment based on gender. Find out everything you need to know about this new law and the school policy changes recommended for compliance.
Research shows that positive school culture where all students feel safe,supported and engaged results in better student outcomes as well as more satisfied and effective teachers. This comprehensive resource is designed to help you plan your own school-wide blueprint to end bullying and to create a positive learning environment that allows all students, even those who are perceived as very different, to feel attached to school and a sense that they belong to an academic community.