Ensuring Equality and Safety for the LGBT Community in Indianapolis Through Education

LGBTQ people have been fighting for equality for many years, and they deserve the same protection from discrimination that is provided to other communities. To ensure that this vulnerable group can access educational services safely and securely in Indianapolis, there are a number of steps that can be taken. From establishing an inclusive vision and monitoring the school climate, to adopting comprehensive policies against discrimination and harassment, and creating restorative disciplinary approaches, these recommendations seek to move toward a future education system in which all students, including LGBTQ students, have the opportunity to learn and succeed in school. Educational leaders can set the tone and expectations of a welcoming and inclusive school environment by including both gender identity and gender expression in protections against discrimination.

This will have a direct impact on ensuring that LGBTQ people can live and work without discrimination. The progress and impact of GLSEN have earned support for inclusive schools at all levels of education in the United States, giving rise to an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in K-12 education. For the past half century, activists in the United States have helped lay the groundwork for local, state, and federal laws to protect historically marginalized communities from discrimination. Unfortunately, LGBTQ people still report high rates of discrimination when trying to safely access public accommodation in the spaces they travel through every day.

This report provides evidence to illustrate the importance of these reference points in ensuring the protections that all LGBTQ people need to participate fully and equally in society. Districts and schools should also be designed and implemented to support transgender and gender-non-conforming students, who face even more hostile school climates than other students in the LGBTQ community. For example, Baltimore City public schools benefit from the district's recognition for the effectiveness of restorative practices and other progressive disciplinary measures that build positive relationships. California's Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act (FAIR) “ensures that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are accurately and fairly described in teaching materials by adding LGBT people to the existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups that are already included in the state's inclusive education requirements. Ashe McGovern was a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress's LGBT Research and Communication Project, where she focuses on issues related to poverty and criminalization in LGBTQ communities.

Through her work, she has highlighted how experiences of employment discrimination contribute to increasing poverty rates throughout the LGBTQ community.

Alana Gholston
Alana Gholston

Evil bacon evangelist. Freelance music aficionado. Typical coffee scholar. Lifelong travel maven. Hardcore bacon ninja. Evil bacon expert.

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