NASSP and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have partnered to highlight the important role that principals have in striving for educational equity, with a focus on safety and inclusion for LGBTQ students.

The need for culturally responsive practices that promote each student’s academic well-being is especially critical in this politically charged time. HRC’s 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report found that only 26 percent of LGBTQ students feel safe in their classrooms, with only 5 percent stating that they feel their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people. This heartfelt video clip spotlights just some of these experiences faced by LGBTQ students. At the same time, according to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 83 percent of educators felt they should provide safe classrooms for LGBTQ students, though only half have actually taken action to do so.

As stated in NASSP’s position statement on transgender students, principals as school leaders “must provide an affirming school environment where each student is treated fairly, respectfully, and with an understanding of each student’s culture and context.”

And that’s what the partnership between NASSP and HRC aims to create and achieve through a series of activities including a special collaborative webinar, an event on Capitol Hill, and concurrent sessions at the 2019 NASSP National Principals Conference as well as HRC’s Time to Thrive Conference.

“How School Leaders Can Appropriately Address the Needs of LGBTQ Students” September 26, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Presented by: Dr. Vincent Pompei, director of the Youth Well-Being Project, HRC

This webinar will discuss how school leaders can support LGBTQ students by creating a safe and inclusive school culture. Decades of research confirm that LGBTQ students face heartbreakingly high rates of bullying, harassment, and emotional distress in our nation’s schools. Participants will learn best practices for ensuring legal and practical protections for LGBTQ students, get a snapshot of the most compelling data on LGBTQ student experiences, and build core skills for transforming the school culture and climate to benefit all students.

Registration is open now for the webinar—register today!

Capitol Hill Day Event:
October 4, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Congressional Meeting Room South

This congressional briefing event will feature the voices of principals, LGBTQ youth, and policy experts who will provide guidance for school leaders and policy recommendations for Congress to support efforts to create safe and welcoming school environments.

RSVP for the briefing or watch the livestream on our Twitter page the day of the event.

HRC’s Time to THRIVE Conference:

This annual national conference brings together K–12 educators and other youth-serving professionals to promote safety, inclusion, and well-being for LGBTQ students. The conference provides a comprehensive opportunity for school leaders and staff to build awareness and cultural competency; learn current and emerging best practices; and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. NASSP is an official partner of the Time to THRIVE Conference and our members receive a 20 percent discount on their registration. Simply register using the link below and insert the promo code: NASSPThrive2019. For an additional $50 off, register before early-bird pricing expires on November 30.

Registration is open now for the conference—register today!

Overall, this partnership encourages school leaders—and anyone who considers themselves an advocate for education—to take on the call for action that NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti issued in her fiery speech at the 2018 National Principals Conference:

“It is time for you to:

  • Stand up and support all that is right and good about public education;
  • Speak up for the young people in your care who can’t speak up for themselves; and
  • Step up by engaging in and leading actions that support our schools.”

If we do this, we can ensure that no student is ever marginalized and that all students can succeed.


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