In March, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously voted to approve nine principles that ensure safe and supportive learning environments for all LGBTQ students attending school in Massachusetts. These principles cover current laws and policies, in addition to reflecting best practices for schools as well as districts.
The nine principles are:
1. Schools must have policies, and update them as needed, protecting LGBTQ students from harassment, violence, and discrimination based on LGBTQ status, to ensure compliance with the law.
2. Schools must include content about violence and suicide prevention related to LGBTQ students in their required training for school personnel.
3. Schools are encouraged to offer school-based groups for LGBTQ and heterosexual students.
4. Schools are encouraged to provide support for family members of LGBTQ students.
5. School districts are encouraged to designate a staff member who is proficient in issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
6. Schools, through their curricula, shall encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals, including LGBTQ individuals.
7. Schools are encouraged to provide age-appropriate information about LGBTQ issues in school libraries and in student and faculty resource centers.
8. Schools are encouraged to have a diverse workforce.
9. Schools are encouraged to review academic and non-academic policies and procedures, and available data, to identify issues or patterns that may create barriers to a safe and successful learning experience for LGBTQ students.
The PDF of the Mass DOE document can be found here.