Responsive School Practices to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Responsive School Practices to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families

1st Edition

By Emily S. Fisher, Kelly S. Kennedy


176 pages

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pub: 2012-06-06
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The needs and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students and families are often ignored, generally misunderstood, and only rarely given priority by the school system. This book provides a practical and useful guide for school-based mental health professionals to support students, families, teachers, and administrators in the development of a safe, inclusive school environment for all LGBTQ students and families. It begins with an overview of the unique issues and challenges faced by LGBTQ students and families, including a discussion of sexuality and gender identity development within the interconnected contexts of home, school, and community. Practical steps are given for creating an inclusive school environment; implementing prevention and intervention techniques to address discrimination, bullying, and violence; and organizing effective counseling programs for LGBTQ students. These school-based efforts are then extended to working with families and communities to reinforce steps taken in the school context. An accompanying CD includes numerous handouts, sample letters, and other resources to assist the school-based mental health professional in implementing responsive and affirmative practices for LGBTQ students and families.


This book is an invaluable resource to meet the needs of LGBT young people in today's schools. The companion CD with reproducible and usable materials adds to the practicality of this book. Fisher and Kennedy have presented needed information for all professionals working to create safe inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and families. I highly recommend it! - Linda Goldman, MS, LCPC, in private practice, Chevy Chase, MD; author of Coming Out, Coming In: Nurturing the Well-Being and Inclusion of Gay Youth in Mainstream Society

Fisher and Kennedy have managed to blend the latest and strongest research evidence related to the development of GLBTQ students and their families with flawlessly chosen resources to assist educators and families support positive life outcomes for all children. This is a must read for psychologists, teachers, principals, families, and school board members. In my experience, schools are least prepared to deal productively with issues around sexuality -- and their failures to be proactive in educating and protecting LGBTQ students have resulted in dire outcomes for young people of all sexual orientations. - Jane Close Conoley, PhD, Dean and Professor, University of California - Santa Barbara

Authors Fisher and Kennedy are to be commended for addressing an important topic that is underrepresented in the extant literature base. Their book is comprehensive, readable, and timely. In particular, the use of case studies throughout the text is helpful for educators in advocating for and effectively working with LGBTQ students and families. - Laura M. Crothers, DEd, NCSP, Professor, School Psychology Program, Duquesne University

Table of Contents

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families. Development of Sexuality and Gender Identity. LGBTQ Students in Home, School, and Community Contexts. Law and Policy in Action. Developing Awareness and Sensitivity: LGBTQ Issues in the School Community. Creating Diverse and Responsive Classrooms. Ensuring Safe Schools: Preventing Harassment and Bullying. Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students. Supporting LGBTQ Parents and their Children. Supporting Families of LGBTQ Students. Accessing Community Resources.

About the Authors

Emily S. Fisher, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at Loyola Marymount University.

Kelly S. Kennedy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School Psychology and School Counseling Programs at Chapman University.

About the Series

School-Based Practice in Action

This series provides school-based practitioners with concise practical guidebooks that are designed to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based programs into school settings, putting the best practices in action. It is closed to new submissions.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health