Secondary LGBTQ+ and Gender Inclusive Schools Checklist

Creating schools that nurture academic achievement, provide physical and emotional safety and welcome all students are common goals for all educators. In order for all students to feel supported and empowered to express their identities and interests at school, it is the job of educators to establish LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive environments where all students are safe, affirmed and can thrive - socially, emotionally, and academically.

School Climate

  • Does your school support students in using facilities (restrooms and locker rooms) aligned with their gender identity?
  • Does your school have a GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance)?
  • Do LGBTQ+, transgender and non-binary educators and staff members know they are safe to be “out” at work?
  • Do educators and staff utilize teachable moments to not only stop negative anti-LGBTQ+ behavior, but to educate about LGBTQ terminology, history, and current events as well?
  • Do classroom and hallway images reflect LGBTQ people and the full spectrum of gender expression?
  • Have educators and staff members established processes to ensure that every LGBTQ+ student has a caring adult in the building who connects with them?
  • Are educators and staff members encouraged and supported in being allies to LGBTQ+, transgender and non-binary students?
  • Are educators and staff building LGBTQ+ allyship amongst all students through intentional activities, modeling and using teachable moments?
  • Do educators and staff use inclusive, non-gendered language such as “students” or “folks” to address all members of the school community in lieu of gendered language such as “guys”?
  • Have educators and staff discontinued grouping student activities by gender - including choir, physical education, class rosters, and Homecoming events?
  • Do educators and staff model and provide examples of eliminating gender stereotypes to students?
  • Do educators and staff normalize pronoun sharing by sharing their own pronouns?

Policies and Procedures

  • Does your school’s anti-bullying and nondiscrimination policy specifically name groups more frequently targeted for harassment inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression?
  • Is the effectiveness of your school’s anti-bullying program evaluated annually using student and staff surveys that specifically ask questions related to LGBTQ+ student experiences?
  • Does your school’s nondiscrimination policy for students and staff specifically include sexual orientation, gender identity/expression?
  • Have educators and staff reviewed all school forms such as registration, attendance and class lists to ensure students can accurately self identify with the names and pronouns they use?
  • Does your school have all-gender restrooms and private changing areas available to all students?
  • Does your school or school district have an all-gender dress code that is inclusive of all gender expressions and free of racial bias? Are you ensuring that students are welcome and safe to wear the clothes, hairstyles and accessories that reflect their intersecting identities?

School Events

  • Is gender-inclusive language such as “families” and “students” used on all event communications in lieu of “Mom and Dad,” “Ladies and Gentlemen” or “Girls and Boys”?
  • Are event organizers educated about students’ First Amendment right to attend events with a date of any gender or sexual orientation?
  • Do staff and educators treat all families with respect and avoid stereotyping or judgment when communicating with two-mom and two-dad, single-parent, racially diverse and/or multi-linguistic families
  • Does your school have at least one staff member who is ensuring that every student feels welcome at school events such as prom and homecoming?

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Material and Resources

  • Is your school’s sexual health curriculum inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities?
  • Does your school’s academic curriculum include a full spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation perspectives, voices, histories and current events?
  • Does your school’s library include books and resources about people with a broad spectrum of gender identities and sexual orientations?
  • Do educators and students create classroom and school displays that show a wide range of occupations and achievements for all genders and sexual orientations?
  • Do educators use lesson plans and classroom examples designed to expand your students’ understanding of gender and sexuality?
  • Do educators create opportunities for your class to examine social media and books to increase their media literacy around LGBTQ topics?

Professional Development

  • Does your school or school district provide ongoing professional development for educators that increase critical skills to address bias-based bullying behaviors regarding gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation?
  • Are educators and staff members specifically trained to prevent and respond to bullying incidents involving gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation?

Confidentiality

  • Are educators and staff aware that under FERPA they must protect the confidentiality of students related to their gender identity and sexual orientation and show great caution not to share students’ sexual orientation or gender identities without that student’s permission, even to the student’s family?
  • Do school privacy policies explicitly assert the confidentiality of information pertaining to students’ sexual orientations and gender identities?

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Secondary LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Schools Checklist

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