The Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Family Equality Council and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE) have released a joint report on the experiences of LGBTQ-headed families in our nation's public schools.
Called, "Involved, Invisible, Ignored," the report highlights the contradictory experiences of LGBTQ-headed families.
LGBTQ parents, the report finds, are more likely than the general parent population to be involved in their children's schools. Meanwhile, LGBTQ-headed families feel invisible in the school community -- their family units not recognized by teachers, other parents and students; their contributions left unnoticed.
And in many cases, families feel excluded or ignored -- not as likely to be contacted directly by schools officials, asked not to talk about their families in class, involved in school activities that don't fit all kinds of families, like homework assignments that assume a mother-father household.
Students, especially, report harassment and violence because of their family type, as well as their association with LGBTQ people through family ties.
On the positive end, the report clearly shows that schools that employ robust nondiscrimination policies that include LGBTQ-headed families are much less likely to report incidents of harassment and violence. The message is clear: Policies that protect all students, faculty, staff and families do matter. Their adoption and implementation can go a long way in improving the educational experiences of all students in schools.
To read the full report and to check out what a robust nondiscrimination policy for schools looks like, visit the Family Equality Council's resources page and click through the Making Schools Inclusive section.