LGBT
Broward County Public Schools is proud to ensure all our students, staff and families are valued and respected. LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) History Month is an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the related gay rights and civil rights movements. LGBT History Month was first celebrated in 1994 and was founded by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson. In 2012, for the first time, two American school districts celebrated LGBTQ History Month; our Broward County school district signed a resolution in September to honor LGBTQ History Month, and later that year the Los Angeles school district, America’s second-largest, also signed on. Our district’s Nondiscrimination Policy Statement 4001.1 states there will not be discrimination against students, parents or guardians of students, employees, applicants, contractors or individuals participating in school board activities. Our district is committed to the provision of equal access to provide an environment free from discrimination and harassment based upon age, race, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, sex, national origin, religion or sexual orientation. The district’s Anti-Bullying Policy 5.9 includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as categories of protection as well to ensure all students are valued, connected and respected so we can deliver a world class education to all students.

We have a plethora of resources for you for Gay and Lesbian History month as well as all through the school year, including lesson plans, resources and/ or websites for K-12 school communities!

Please click to review resources for LGBT History Month! Thank you for all that you do to ensure safe, inclusive school communities for all students, staff and families:

In order to ensure inclusivity for all, including LGBT and queer or questioning students and families, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I control for bias in the lessons I teach?
  • What do I need to do to make the lessons I teach more LGBT-inclusive both now and all year long?
  • What other pedagogical practices do I need to consider to make my classroom a safe, respectful and inclusive learning space for all students?

To begin, GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network , is a national organization that works to end homophobia and transphobia in K-12 schools.  Go to glsen.org/lgbt-history-month and  glsen.org/educate/resources/curriculum for solid resources such as best practices for inclusive and affirming curriculum for all students and lessons for LGBT inclusion. Lessons such as “When Did It Happen? LGBT History for Grades 9-12” and “Think Before You Speak: A Guide for Educators from 6-12.

The Anti-Defamation League is a partnering organization with BCPS, and is a civil rights/human relations agency who fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all people, including youth. Go to adl.org/educator/curriculum_connections/unheard-voices for a powerful resources entitled “Unheard Voices: Stories of LGBT History” which will help integrate LGBT history, people and issues into your instructional programs.

The Washington State Safe School Coalition whose mission is to support LGBTQ youth as it works to help schools become safe places where every family can belong regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. Go to safeschoolscoalition.org/RG-lessonplans.html.

Teaching Tolerance website is a place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools, including LGBTQ needs and resiliency. Go to tolerance.org/blog/lgbt-inclusive-best-practices-now-available. Also, go to “Tips for Teachers – Ally Yourself with LGBT Students” to teach 6 friendly LGBTQ actions.

Broward County’s local Stonewall Museum and Archives has a mission that promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of LGBT people and their significant role in society. This year, along, with the help of the DP&I Department, beautiful educational life-size posters and teacher guides entitled “From Selma to Seneca Falls to Stonewall” will be delivered to every high school in our district during LGBT History Month for the purpose of display and educational awareness. As well, Stonewall has graciously created thematic Hispanic Heritage posters that include the acknowledgement of great Hispanic leaders in education, the arts, politics and the community. Look for these posters to be delivered to middle and high schools during our 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month!

For our K-5 classrooms, Welcoming Schools is a diversity initiative that our district has launched successfully in all 140+ elementary classrooms in BCPS. Welcoming Schools is an inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping and name-calling through the lens of anti-bias education so all elementary schools can be inclusive, respectful, supportive environments for our diverse students and families. Go to welcomingschools.org/pages/lesson-plans. Also go to the video “Bias, Bullying and Bystanders on this website, Click here now for the video and short “Educators’ Discussion Questions.”

In the last few years, our district launched the Emmy-nominated video “Ensuring LGBTQ Health and Safety” to help educate leadership and staff. This video includes powerful and engaging interviews with district leaders, including our superintendent, directors and allies, educators and numerous students who identify as LGBT and allies. We have created a short “Educators’ Discussion Guide” so the video can be used as a teaching tool with students. Please use discretion when considering developmental levels of learning. Go to the video “Ensuring LGBTQ Health and Safety” and discussion questions on this website, click here now.