Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students
2019 Commissioner letter to district and school leaders about the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students
The Safe Schools Program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students is a joint initiative between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. Founded in 1993 in response to concerns about LGBTQ youth suicides and other risk factors, the program now offers a range of services designed to help schools implement state laws impacting LGBTQ students, including the state's anti-bullying law, gender identity law, and student anti-discrimination law.
The Safe Schools Program also manages the Massachusetts Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Student Leadership Council.
Training and Technical Assistance
The Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students informs policy and provides training, technical assistance, and professional development to school administrators and staff on topics related to gender identity, sexual orientation, and school climate.
Requests for trainings and technical assistance can be submitted online, Submit a Request.
The Regulations for the Massachusetts Student Rights Law (MGL Ch. 76, Sec. 5) state that "all public school systems shall, through their curricula, encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation."
These resources will help students value the contributions of LGBTQ people and understand their place in history, literature, and other fields.
DESE Model Curriculum Units — Defending Democracy at Home: Advancing Constitutional Rights, Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Same-Sex Marriage (Grades 11–12)
Inclusive Curriculum Materials - available from the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and covering a variety of subjects in social studies and language arts
LGBTQ-inclusive Reading List - a list of books from the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth that celebrates diversity for readers of all levels, including LGBTQ-focused options (also available as an accessible document)
Important LGBTQ Resources