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Providing training, staff development, and resources to support LGBTQIA+ youth

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is dedicated to supporting school district offices, parents, and community-based agencies in topics related to LGBTQIA+ youth by providing training, staff development, technical assistance, and consultation.

“SDCOE is committed to safety, inclusion, representation, and affirmation for all students,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “Research shows that a hostile school climate affects students’ academic success and mental health, and that LGBTQIA+ students who experience victimization and discrimination at school have worse educational outcomes and poorer psychological well-being. All students deserve to feel safe and welcome in their schools and to see themselves represented in the curricula; it’s up to us to offer resources and supports to promote a positive learning experience."

Creating inclusive curriculum and establishing accepting classroom and school climates improves the educational experience for all students, families, and teachers.  Proactively helping students develop mutual respect and understanding for all leads to more learning and growth for everyone.

We strongly recommend involving parents and guardians as part of school-wide efforts to be more inclusive. As important members of the school community, families can reinforce the concept of respect at home, help answer questions, assist in classroom discussions, and be actively engaged in making the school and community safe for all children and their families.

Current Topics

The above answers are intended as a general resource. Guidance often depends on the unique circumstances of the concern in question and schools should consult with their own legal counsel to review the facts and circumstances of specific situations.

Additional Resources

Research shows that LGBTQIA youth often suffer from disparate rates of bullying and harassment, depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy. Recent research also shows that youth suffering from such health risks are at greater academic risk than other youth. (Data Source: WestEd, California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) and Biennial State CHKS, California Department of Education March 2019)

It is more important than ever that schools promote a positive learning experience for students who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. These resources can help educators cultivate positive and safe school environments that empower youth with the confidence and knowledge needed to succeed every day.

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LGBTQIA pride flag waving in sky

LGBTQ+ Youth Standards of Care

The LGBTQ+ Youth Standards of Care — created by the San Diego LGBT Community Leadership Council’s Youth Services Committee under the leadership of San Diego Pride, the SD LGBT Community Center, The North County LGBTQ Resource Center, and Trans Family Services — outlines best practices and relevant resources that reflect and comply with California Education Code and laws.

Cover of the equity blueprint for action

Equity Blueprint for Action

The SDCOE Equity Blueprint for Action provides actionable steps for improving educational outcomes for three student groups: African American, American Indian, and Latinx. This document highlights community- and research-informed practices common among the three communities, as well as actions and recommendations that when applied can positively impact all students.