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#WeAreOrlando

Flordia state with a heart rainbow colored with a #weareorlando

The MAEC family wishes to extend our condolences, support, and solidarity to the families who lost loved ones in Orlando. We may never fully understand the motivations of the shooter, but the victims were likely targeted because of their sexuality.

This reminds us of the many LGBTQ students who are targeted in schools every day. In this moment of tragedy, we need to reflect on how to create inclusive and safe schools for every student, including our LGBTQ youth.  Too often students are ridiculed, bullied, and pushed out of school for their gender identity and sexual orientation. The statistics are grim:

  • 82% of LGBTQ youth had problems during the previous year with bullying about sexual orientation.
  • 64% felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation.
  • 44% felt unsafe at school due to gender identification.
  • 32% did not go to school for at least one day because of feeling unsafe.
    (National School Climate Survey, GLSEN, 2011)

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has provided guidance to help ground our discussion: Title IX “prohibit[s] sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.”

All students deserve to be safe and feel respected in school. Below you will find helpful resources compiled by Teaching Tolerance and GLSEN to help staff and students create welcoming schools for every student. #WeAreOrlando

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The MAEC blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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