Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

A Guide for Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth and Families

Edited by Emily S. Fisher, Karen Komosa-Hawkins

© 2013 – Routledge

262 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415819176
pub: 2013-04-17
US Dollars$56.95
Hardback: 9780415896115
pub: 2013-04-17
US Dollars$170.00

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About the Book

The importance of creating safe spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students in the school environment cannot be overstated. It is one of the most prominent issues facing school professionals today, and its success has lasting, positive effects on the entire student body. Drawing on the expertise of researchers and practitioners, Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environmentsprovides a comprehensive examination of the topics most relevant for school professionals. The first section lays out the theoretical foundation and background school professionals need to understand the social and political trends that impact LGBTQ individuals, the development of sexual orientation and gender identity, risk and resilience factors, and the intersection of LGBTQ identity with other aspects of diversity. The second section explores topics critical for the development of safe, supportive school environments, including understanding legal and ethical mandates, training school personnel, addressing bullying and harassment, and developing inclusive classrooms. Special topics related to counseling LGBTQ students, supporting families of LGBTQ students, becoming an ally and advocate in the schools, and connecting with community resources are also covered.


"Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments provides much-needed practical advice for working with LGBTQ youth and families. The editors and authors contribute extensive expertise in developing this timely and comprehensive resource for education professionals. The chapters addressing legal and ethical mandates, prevention, and intervention strategies provide essential information for professional development and school level reforms to support LGBTQ youth. Professionals, faculty, and students will benefit from reading this important book."

—Shane R. Jimerson, PhD, professor of counseling, clinical, and school psychology at the University of California–Santa Barbara

"This is an engrossing, readable, insightful, and eminently practical book. As more and more LGBTQQI students and their families are open in the presentation of their lives to and participation in their local schools, those school administrators, teachers, counselors, and staff have an even higher responsibility to ensure they are welcome and treated with respect. Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments should be required reading for anyone working in the K-12 schools."

—Mark Pope, EdD, professor and chair, department of counseling and family therapy, College of Education, University of Missouri–Saint Louis

"Fisher and Komosa-Hawkins provide a remarkable opportunity for readers to engage with leading scholars and practitioners in the field on a broad range of topics, each of which is critical in guiding efforts to improve the school experiences of LGBTQ students."

—Eliza Byard, PhD, executive director, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

"School-based professionals should have the capacity and commitment to fully and meaningfully support LGBTQ students and their families. This important volume bridges practice and research, providing accessible, relevant, and timely guidance and resources. By addressing key research-based conditions for learning, it has great potential to improve the lives of LGBTQ students and contribute to the growing and much-needed focus on their well-being."

—Jeffrey M. Poirier, MA, senior researcher, American Institutes for Research, and coeditor, Improving Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth

Table of Contents

Part I: Theoretical Foundations and Background 1. Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students, Parents, and Families Emily S. Fisher 2. Putting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Context: Historical Influences and Social Trends Judy Chiasson and Ronni Sanlo 3. Adolescent Development: Identity, Intimacy, and Exploration Omar B. Jamil, Gary W. Harper, and Douglas Bruce 4. Promoting Resilience in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth Karen Komosa-Hawkins and G. Thomas Schanding, Jr. 5. Transgender and Intersex Students: Supporting Resilience and Empowerment Anneliese A. Singh 6. Diversity Across the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Community Cirleen DeBlaere and Melanie Brewster Part II: Applications in the Schools and Community 7. Law, Policy, and Ethics: What School Professionals Need to Know Asaf Orr and Karen Komosa-Hawkins 8. Training School Professionals to Work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Parents Joy S. Whitman 9. Safe Schools: Prevention and Intervention for Bullying and Harassment Dorothy L. Espelage and Mrinalini A. Rao 10. Responsive Classroom Curriculum for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students Emily A. Greytak and Joseph G. Kosciw 11. Creating Inclusive School Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Headed Families and Their Children Alicia L. Fedewa and Ashley Candelaria 12. Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students Grady L. Garner, Jr. and Dennis M. Emano 13. Educating and Empowering Families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students Caitlin Ryan and Stuart F. Chen-Hayes 14. Educators as Allies in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Parents Robert A. McGarry 15. Accessing Community Resources: Providing Support for All Kelly S. Kennedy

About the Editors

Emily S. Fisher, PhD, is an associate professor in the school psychology program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Karen Komosa-Hawkins, PhD, is an assistant professor in the counseling program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Child & Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling