1st Edition

Gay-Straight Alliances
A Handbook for Students, Educators, and Parents

ISBN 9781560236856
Published May 30, 2007 by Routledge
112 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

A step by step guide to the school club that provides a safe place for LGBT and straight kids

A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) provides a safe place for students to discuss issues, meet others, and get support from those who care. Gay-Straight Alliances: A Handbook for Students, Educators, and Parents explains exactly how to begin this important type of school club that helps build positive relationships and promotes knowledge and tolerance. This guide tells students what it takes to start a GSA at their school, teachers how best to work with GSAs, and helps principals and superintendents to understand the applicable laws. Parents who read this book can discover for themselves just how positive an influence the GSA may be in their child’s life.

Beginning a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) takes courage as well as the support of educators and parents. Gay-Straight Alliances: A Handbook for Students, Educators, and Parents discusses all aspects of this type of school club, including the issues and challenges students will face when forming it. Teachers are given helpful perspectives on how to meet the inevitable concerns of parents and public officials and how to be an effective advisor. Principals and school officials are given an overview of the federal laws and the responsibility of schools to adhere to them. The book includes appendixes with helpful resources on sexual orientation and gender identity development, LGBT issues and schools, and the 1984 Federal Equal Access Act.

Topics in Gay-Straight Alliances: A Handbook for Students, Educators, and Parents include:

  • starting a GSA in ten steps
  • how teachers and counselors can work with GSAs
  • including transgender students
  • First Amendment rights
  • 1984 Federal Equal Access Act
  • Title IX
  • a review of federal guidelines for religious expression in public schools
  • school anti-harassment policies
  • understanding the opposition-with strategies for working with them
  • working with parents
  • common misconceptions about GSAs

Gay-Straight Alliances: A Handbook for Students, Educators, and Parents is a valuable guide for students wanting to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at their school, for teachers on how to best work with GSAs, for principals and superintendents on GSAs and the law, and for parents who have children in schools with GSAs.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Arthur Lipkin)
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. What Is a Gay-Straight Alliance?
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Are GSAs Sex Clubs?
  • Why Do Students Start Gay-Straight Alliances?
  • How Do Gay-Straight Alliances Help All Students?
  • Summary
  • Web Resources
  • Chapter 2. For Students: Starting a GSA in Your School
  • How to Start a GSA in Ten Not-So-Easy Steps
  • Maintaining a Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. For Teachers and Counselors: How to Work with GSAs
  • Where to Begin?
  • Working with LGBT Students of Color
  • Working with Transgender Youth
  • Helping Students Define the Purpose of Their GSA
  • Helpful Tips for Working with GSAs
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4. For Principals and Superintendents: GSAs and the Law
  • First Amendment Rights
  • The 1984 Federal Equal Access Act
  • The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
  • Title IX
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. For School Boards: Understanding the Opposition and Working with Parents
  • Understanding the Opposition
  • Reverse Discrimination?
  • Common Arguments Against GSAs
  • Why The Common Arguments Are False
  • Strategies for Working with the Opposition
  • Summary
  • Chapter 6. For Parents: Supporting Your Child
  • Balancing Parents’ Rights with Those of the Public Schools
  • Working with Parents Who Oppose GSAs
  • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Conclusion: In Support of Equality and Inclusion
  • Appendix A. Resources on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Development
  • Appendix B. Resources on LGBT Issues and Schools
  • Appendix C. 1984 Federal Equal Access Act
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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"Gay Straight Alliances is so well organized and full of helpful resources and information that it is an invaluable resource to anyone who has an interest in creating or working with a GSA."—Journal of LGBT Youth