Family is the most basic element of self-identification for young children; it shapes and informs their sense of self and who they are in the world. It is important for students to see their families reflected in the world around them, while at the same time seeing the diversity of families that also exists in our communities.
- Organize evening events to bring your school community together and involve more parents and guardians in your school.
- Show the award winning film, What Do You Know? to help parents and guardians develop language to talk with their children about gay and lesbian topics, such as families with two dads. Or use it in a staff meeting, to begin discussion on stopping hurtful teasing and gay putdowns.
- Be prepared for teachable moments. Know what to say when you hear, “That’s gay!”
- Practice how you might answer students’ questions about family diversity or about LGBT people.
- Check out Yes! They are a Family for ideas for simple repsonses to student's questions.
- With marriage between two women or two men in the news a lot lately, your students may have questions. Check out some ideas for talking with your students about marriage.
- Contact a regional Welcoming Schools consultant about training. Ensure that the educators and staff in your school or school district have the skills to interrupt hurtful behavior and to develop a welcoming school environment where students from all kinds of families can achieve.
- Lessons on families are common in the early grades. As children enter school, they may first experience diversity by noticing how their family is the same or different from other families. The lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
- Use books that feature all kinds of families in your classroom or school library as a way for students to see themselves reflected in the world and a way for students to see the diversity in the world around them. Check out our book recommendations. Take a look at our recommendations for books that include LGBT characters.