As part of its commitment to support the health and safety of all students, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has created a new webpage to house resources for educators seeking to support students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex, nonbinary and individuals who identify their sexual orientation or gender identity in other ways (LGBTQI+).
“KDE is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.” said Jason E. Glass, commissioner of education. “Educators must be equipped with information and resources that help them understand and respond to issues related to identity in the classroom.”
Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 34% of LGBTQI+ students experience bullying at school and that they are at greater risk of experiencing personal violence. Similar research from GLSEN, a national organization that works to ensure safe schools for students of every gender identity and expression, reports that nearly 60% of LGBTQI+ feel unsafe at school and are three times as likely to experience absenteeism as a result.
The new webpage will provide educators with access to research and data related to the needs of LGBTQI+ youth, relevant pieces of nonregulatory guidance produced by the U.S. Department of Education and links to national organizations that provide further resources to educators. The webpage does not include curriculum or classroom-level activities for teachers to implement; rather, it is designed as a source of information for educators seeking to understand complex issues.