When the Fail-Safes Fail at Your Child’s School

Last week, I wrote about the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) which promotes safety in schools through its programs. Unfortunately, as a parent, you can’t assume that these programs will be put into play. Many schools don’t have the interest or the comfort level to implement those GLBT regulations often regarded as inciting controversy.

The Law and You
According to the United States Constitution’s 14th Amendment, all students are entitled to equal protection under the law. It’s too bad that some schools don’t feel obligated to intervene on your GLBT child’s behalf. According to several surveys, 4 out of 5 gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school. And they report that 97% of the time the teachers ignore student harassment.                                         

Educate the Educators                                                
Then, how can a parent safeguard his child?

  1. Your first step is to check your school’s policies.
  2. Then make an appointment with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s abuse.
  3. If you don’t get results from the teacher, next talk to the principal.
  4. Every time you/your child speaks to a teacher or a principal or school official or he/she files a complaint to a school administrator, keep a record. You’ll need them for your case.

Your Allies Outside The School
If teachers and administrators do nothing about the bullying, contact these GLBT-friendly organizations:

Next week, I will share with you ways you can teach your child at home to stand up to bullies. If you have found any solutions to dealing with apathetic school officials or have any reactions to this blog, please leave a comment.

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

2 Comments

  1. Avatar Anonymous on January 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Today's parents face a growing challenge with respect to their child's attitude to school and their education. A good rapport with the school and teacher is essential. Many find that numerous distractions hinder their attempts to have their children focus on school and school work. This lack of focus tends to lead to disruptive behavior, low grades and lack of motivation to do their best. At the earliest age, they need to develop good study habits and sound self discipline. This is attained by establishing a structured approach to their work so it becomes second nature to them.

  2. Avatar Wesley Cullen Davidson on January 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you for your post. While good study habits and sound self-discipline help students achieve in school, this particular blog is for GLBT students who can not concentrate in school because they are being bullied. When school professionals stand by and do nothing to stop the taunting, these kids do have resources that are mentioned in this blog post.

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