LGBTQ Student & Teacher Resource Guide

Visit Center for Diversified ARTAccording to GLSEN, (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network 2008) 90% of LGBTQ students are verbally harassed, 44% are physically harassed, and 25% are physically assaulted in school because of their sexual orientation. Sears (1992) states 52% of teachers self reported that they would feel uncomfortable working with an openly gay/lesbian colleague, and 80% of future teachers reported they had negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people. All students and teachers have the right to a safe school environment and opportunities to excel and succeed.

Download our free 16 page PDF: LGBTQ Student & Teacher Resource Guide to use in your classroom or school. Includes a higher order differentiated activity based on the Maker Model, along with Diversified ART’s ‘Healthy Environment / Bully Prevention Identification Chart’.

LGBTQ Lessons & Activities

10 Ways to Create an LGBTQ Friendly Environment

1)  Use role models, guest speakers, and mentors from diverse backgrounds such as Boston vs. Bullies, and other resources listed below.

2)  Encourage resiliency and transcendence…

  • Build Positive Beliefs in abilities: Clarify strengths and weaknesses: Use Rimms chart and Interest Inventory Chart.
  • Find a sense of purpose in life
  • Develop a strong social network: Seek out positive social groups that support who you are and what you want. Ask for help.
  • Embrace change: Try new things, don’t be afraid to look at things from a different perspective.
  • Be optimistic: Guest speakers, mentors, and role models can help students develop optimism in the face of adversity.
  • Nurture yourself Utilize exercises that teach positive and healthy lifestyles. Involve school counselor, school nurse.
  • Develop problem solving skills Use TASC model for problem solving.
  • Establish goals: Clarify what you want and the steps to achieve those goals. What is needed, where can you get it, etc.
  • Take steps to solve problems: Use TASC guide for solving problems.
  • Keep working on your skills: Keep improving, model learning is fun. Provide successful role models.

3)  Utilize reading assignments, papers, art, videos, etc. that include LGBTQ people and issues such as Bullies in Books and other LGBTQ resources listed below.

4)  Utilize resources for other minority groups that face prejudice such as Facing History and Ourselves that addresses the Holocaust and other hate crimes.

5)  Incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity topics into the curriculum available at GLSEN and other resources listed below.

6)  Schedule activities to increase LGBTQ awareness.

7)  Encourage the use of creativity to develop resiliency, developing options, coping skills, and creative problem solving.

8)  Encourage looking at the big picture and connecting with a global community to overcome and resolve LGBTQ challenges.

9)  Utilize lessons and activities that address bullying.

10) Utilize expressive arts that can help with identity and self-esteem building.

Create Safe Educational Spaces                                 

  1. Model, expect, and define respectful behavior.
  2. Be consistent.
  3. Have a zero tolerance for bullying, name calling, and derogatory language. State, post,  and enforce consequences.
  4. Develop school wide anti-bullying campaigns.
  5. Attend/offer bullying prevention/intervention professional development.
  6. Monitor group work and student behavior within the group.
  7. Clearly state, post, and enforce ground rules for discussions and group work.
  8. Have an open door policy so students feel they can come to you if they have a problem.
  9. Post anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and anti-violence policies.
  10. Familiarize yourself with your school and school districts policies regarding bullying and harassment.
  11. Familiarize yourself with how your school counselor and school nurse address LGBTQ  issues, and advocate for services if necessary.
  12. Have resources available for LGBTQ students (see list of resources below)
  13. Familiarize yourself with the specific challenges LGBTQ students face. (identity confusion, emotional isolation, rejection of true self, bullying, suicide, drop out rate).

Bullying Identification & Intervention Strategies

Identify Bullying and Harassment:

  • Identify and post what bullying is (Healthy Environment Chart).
  • Identify and post what you can do if you are being bullied.
  • Identify and post what you can do if you witness bullying.
  • Utilize our Healthy Environment / Bully Identification Chart. Click the link to download the PDF. Healthy Environment / Bully Identification Chart

Intervention Strategies: Effective and safe intervention strategies are paramount. All teachers should receive professional development training in anti-bullying intervention strategies (see resources below). However, the best form of intervention is prevention. 

  • Keep the targeted students safety in mind when disciplining harassing students.
  • An educators discipline in class may cause retaliation for a student outside of class and/or school.
  • Stop the name calling/bullying immediately and either educate the harassing students immediately or set aside a time to educate harassing students.
  • Meet with the targeted student to determine what will work best for them.

“If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem” Eldridge Cleaver         


Anti-Bully Resources

K-12 LGBTQ School Counseling Programs

Ten Ways to Be a Safe Haven and help LGBTQ students feel safe talking to you, coming out to you, discussing strategies for telling others, and understanding their own development (American School Counseling Association 2011).

  1. Express gratitude for the confidence.
  2. Assure confidentiality, limited, of course, should serious and foreseeable harm come into play.
  3. Assess whether the student needs immediate/extended, supportive counseling or if disclosure is enough for the time being.
  4. Refer to the positive aspect of being LGBTQ, such as solidarity, loving relationships, perseverance, diversity of the community, rich history and culture.
  5. Discover the extent of disclosure to others, exploring the consequences/advantages of coming out in various settings. Consider safety and shelter issues and reporting of harassment.
  6. Ask about relations with family, teacher and peers.
  7. Discuss relations, including courtship, breakup and exploring feelings about lost heterosexual identity and expectations.
  8. Guide the student to sources of information and confirmation including school or community-based groups.
  9. Discuss at the appropriate developmental level safe sex practices and motivations to engage in them, as one does with heterosexual students.
  10. Discuss the student’s concerns and safety issues as related to both inside and outside of school.

K-12 Anti-Bully Professional Development: Boston Public School System                                                                           

The Boston Public School System offers a model bullying prevention and intervention program. Below is a summary of what they offer pasted from their website.

  • Creating a School Climate for Bullying Prevention: An online professional education module that includes an overview of bullying prevention and intervention, outlines the specific responsibilities of school personnel, and provides critical information about bullying prevention strategies and best practices.
  • Bullying Prevention and Students with Disabilities: An online professional education module that highlights the unique challenges of bullying involving students with disabilities and prepares school personnel to address bullying in an increasingly inclusive school population. It provides: (1) whole-school, targeted student group, and individualized intervention strategies to prevent and address bullying involving students with and without disabilities; and (2) appropriate strategies for addressing bullying in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan.
  • Saturdays for Success: An 8-session skills-building program for students on Saturday mornings at the BPS Counseling and Intervention Center (developed through BPS/EDC partnership). Program is for students referred for bullying (as an educational alternative to suspension), students referred for victimization, and selected peer leaders. The program provides targeted counseling, intervention sessions, and group dynamic and enrichment activities that nurture friendships, develop social and emotional skills, and actively involve students in applying bullying prevention strategies. Download the Saturdays for Success program guide
  • Eyes on Bullying: A skills-building program that parents, childcare professionals, and teachers can use with children and youth in schools, afterschool programs, childcare centers, families, and community organizations. Developed at Education Development Center. The Eyes on Bullying Toolkit is available for download at Also offered: Trainings and workshops for parents and school personnel, and staff at afterschool, youth, and childcare programs
  • BOSTON vs BULLIES: This anti-bullying initiative by The Sports Museum and the Boston sports community features athletes from all of Boston’s professional sports teams. Visit BOSTON vs BULLIES to see athletes share their stories and provide kids with ways to stand strong against bullying. You’ll also find tools, tips, and guidance to help kids prevent and stop bullying in our community. Join the BOSTON vs BULLIES team and stand strong against bullying.
  • Training: All Staff Trainings (2 hours) This training provides all school personnel with an overview of bullying prevention and intervention. It meets the requirements of the state’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Law. These all staff trainings have been conducted in almost every school throughout the district. 
  • New-Hire Teacher Bullying Prevention Training (2 hours) This training provides all new-hire teachers during their orientation with critical information about bullying prevention strategies and best practices, and highlights the basic elements of the Massachusetts Bullying Prevention and Intervention Law.
  • In-Depth School Personnel Training (18 hours) This is focused, in-depth training for selected school personnel in each school. Upon completion of this training, participants become Bullying Intervention Specialists in their school. They also receive NoBully Solution Team coaching certification.
  • NoBully Solution Team® Trainings: This training prepares BPS school personnel to become skilled implementers and certified trainers of a non-punitive programmatic intervention strategy. This strategy empowers students to work with a group of their peers along with an adult facilitator to proactively and effectively stop the bullying of one of their peers.
  • On-Going Support: On-going support in implementing each school’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan as mandated by the requirements of the BPS and state legislation. This includes an overview of the state bullying prevention and intervention law, the specific responsibilities of school personnel, and critical information about bullying prevention and intervention strategies and best practices.
  • Bullying Prevention Workshop for Parents of Students with Disabilities: This workshop (sponsored by the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) provides parents with effective strategies they can use with students with disabilities to prevent, respond to, and stop bullying.
  • Bullying Prevention Hotline:  617.592.2378  A dedicated cell phone for school personnel and parents to talk with the BPS bullying prevention expert about important issues, questions, and concerns
  • The Boston Public Schools Cyber Safety Campaign is a student-developed campaign to promote safe and healthy Internet use. This site contains numerous resources, including those featuring the popular Cyber Safety Heroes, which can be downloaded for free or ordered for use in the classroom and at home.                     

LGBTQ Professional Development

  • The California Teaching Association (CTA) has an annual LGBT conference addressing issues specific to the needs of LGBT educators and students. Date: November 15-17, 2013 | Location: Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs “CTA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Advisory Committee (GLBTIAC) is proud to present the annual CTA conference addressing issues involving GLBT educators, students and community. This conference is open to all CTA members and will serve as a forum to discuss a variety of subjects affecting the entire membership and California’s youth. Participants will have a variety of workshops to choose from, organized into three strands addressing the needs of the CTA Membership, the Students and the Community.”
  • The Northeast Ohio Chapter of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network) offers professional development workshops that will come to the school.  Professional Development for Educators Nov 26, 2012 “One of GLSEN Northeast Ohio’s key roles in the community is to educate about important LGBTQ issues in schools and how to make K-12 schools safer for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and/or expression. We can provide K-12 schools and districts Professional Development trainings and workshops for teachers, staffs, administrators, and pre-service teachers. To bring a PD workshop or session to your school with the ultimate goal of making schools safer for all, please send questions or complete the following forms and return to Sincerely, GLSEN NEO Board and Educator Training Team.”                             

LGBTQ Websites & Organizations                          

LGBTQ EducatIonal VIdeos & DVDs  (GLSEN Think Before You Speak 2008)                                                                        

  • In Other Words (National Film Board of Canada, 2001)
  • Let’s Get Real (Groundspark, 2003)
  • No Dumb Questions (New Day Films, 2001)
  • Out of the Past (Jeff Dupre/GLSEN, 1998)
  • Straightlaced (Groundspark, 2009)

LGBTQ & Bully Prevention Books/Articles for Educators (GLSEN Think Before You Speak 2008)             

  • Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning Son or Daughter by Kevin Jennings and Pat Shapiro (Simon & Schuster 2003)
  • Becoming Visible: A Reader in Gay & Lesbian History for High School & College Students by Kevin Jen- nings (Alyson, 1994)
  • Beyond Diversity Day: A Q&A on Gay and Lesbian Issues in Schools by Arthur Lipkin (Rowman & Little- field, 2003)
  • Bullies in Books. Northeast Ohio Local Trainer and Author CJ Bott offers a list of hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles.
  • Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities by David Levithan and Billy Merrell (Random House, 2006)
  • “If These Were Racial Slurs, Teachers Would Be Stopping Them” … Three Activists Object by Beth Reis, Mona Mendoza and Frieda Takamura (Safe Schools Coalition, 2000)
  • Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue by Leslie Feinberg (Beacon press, 1999)
  • Troubling Intersections of Race and Sexuality: Queer Students of Color and Anti-Oppressive Education by Kevin Kumashiro (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001)
  • Understanding Gay and Lesbian Youth: Lessons for Straight School Teachers, Counselors, and Adminis- trators by David Campos (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

LGBTQ & Bully Prevention Books for Teens   (GLSEN Think Before You Speak 2008)                                         

  • Bullies in Books. Northeast Ohio Local Trainer and Author CJ Bott, includes list of hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles.
  • Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole (HarperCollins Publishers, 2008)
  • Gay America: Struggle for Equality by Lines Alsenas (Amulet, 2008)
  • Hear Us Out!: Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present by Nancy Garden (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)
  • Luna by Julie Anne Peters (Megan Tingley Books, 2006)
  • The Misfits by James Howe (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
  • Orphea Proud by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (Random House Children’s Books, 2006)
  • Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie (Editor) (Alyson Publications, 2000)

Suicide Prevention Resources                                                                         

General Human Rights Resources                                                                   


LGBTQ Resource Guide Vol. 3, No. 1, April 2013 Published by Diversified ART™ ISSN 2166-3661


About Diversified ART

Community-based artists guild, international artist registry, and digital gallery with classes, activities, and programs in the visual arts. Our organization focuses on the visual arts and social and environmental consciousness.
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