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Do Schools Discount Gay Parents?

Gay Parents Get Shut Out

By Barbara Axelson | June 2008
Bad Numbers
Bad Numbers

LGBT parents are very actively engaged in their children’s education, yet are oftenstill not accepted by school communities.—Kevin Jennings, executive director, GLSEN

There are more than seven million gay parents with school-age children in the United States, and, for the most part, you aren’t doing enough to protect their kids. That’s according to a new report from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), in partnership with the Family Equality Council and COLAGE. Involved, Invisible, Ignored is the first comprehensive report on the educational experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families, and the news isn’t good.

Twenty-two percent of students from LGBT families said that a teacher, principal, or other school staff had discouraged them from talking about their family at school, and more than a third felt that school personnel did not acknowledge their family—by, say, inviting only one parent to open house. Worse still, 28 percent said they heard teachers or other school staff make negative comments about LGBT families. At the same time, the report also finds that LGBT parents are far more likely than other parents to be involved in their children’s K–12 education. LGBT parents are a resource that administrators cannot afford to ignore.

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