Affirming the Experiences of LGBTQ Students, Families, and Staff

Seattle Public Schools, Washington State

Seattle Public Schools increased the safety and supportiveness of schools by developing a book that highlights the stories of LGBTQ+ students, disseminating it throughout the district, and incorporating it into staff training, classroom education, and family engagement.

Seattle Public Schools is highlighting the strength, resilience, and unapologetic pride of queer and transgender students in their district through the creation of a book and photo exhibit.

Our Students, Their Stories: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Students, Families, and Staff showcases the images and stories of LGBTQ+ students, their families, and staff, and captures the many ways in which students thrive with the support of loving family members. The book also spotlights LGBTQ+ staff members who uplift queer and transgender youth. In October of 2020, more than 200 community members visited a “pop-up” exhibit held at a local park that showcased the book and stories.

Portrait of smiling Lesbian Young Woman on a LGBTQ parade

The photo book and exhibit will be used as educational tools for staff training, classroom education, community engagement, and parent education. Seattle Public Schools is also incorporating the book into students’ learning by developing grade-level lesson plans. A copy of the book will be available in the library at every school, as well as in the offices of school counselors, school nurses, and school-based health centers. These activities will increase inclusivity throughout the district, positively impacting more than 53,000 students who attend Seattle Public Schools.

School policies and practices designed to support LGBTQ+ youth reduce risk and negative experiences for all youth. Through the development, dissemination, and teaching of Our Students, Their Stories, Seattle Public Schools is not only making their school environments safer and more supportive for LGBTQ+ youth throughout the district, but for all youth in the district.