As the District continues to celebrate and recognize Pride Month, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced a new set of investments to ensure LGBTQ+ youth in the District feel safe, connected, and supported. at school.
“We know that the best learning environments for our youth are environments where they feel safe and supported to be themselves,” said Mayor Bowser. “Especially at a time when young people across the country are seeing and experiencing a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, these investments will help ensure our schools are places where all students feel loved, supported and safe.”
OSSE will build on its existing programming and invest $764,000 in federal stimulus funds over three years to:
- Create resources and provide additional professional learning opportunities for District educators;
- Develop inclusive supportive communities;
- Expand training on health issues for teachers and youth; Y
- Support DC Health’s youth-focused school programs in middle and high schools.
“Many LGBTQ+ youth are negatively impacted as a result of social stigma and a lack of awareness, competence, support and resources among the adults charged with their development,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “We must do better for our students. Through these investments, we hope to equip our schools with the knowledge and resources they need to create more supportive environments that are inclusive of the physical and mental health and social-emotional needs of LGBTQ+ students.”
OSSE has already partnered with a local organization, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), to offer free virtual professional learning sessions aimed at giving educators basic knowledge and guidance to create more deeply supportive classroom environments for LGBTQ+ students. .
According to the DC Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which provides a broad analysis of the health risk behaviors of youth, LGBTQ+ students, and DC youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and /o transgender disproportionately experience health risks, such as suicidal thoughts and sexual violence.
For more information, visit OSSE’s website .