[How] Are LGBTQ Students & Staff Included in Our School Communities?

By Vivett Dukes & Jeff Baker

#SafeSpaceConvos is a Twitter chat led by teacher Vivett Dukes as part of the Caring Classroom movement. These authentic conversations in education take place on alternating Mondays at 8:30 pm. Will you join the conversation? 

Jeff Baker is an education justice and mental health advocate, educator, trained therapist, and a writer, with a deep knowledge of child and family welfare, positive youth development, and school and community-based social services.


Q1: What is the distinction between homophobia and heteronormativity?

Q2: Some schools and districts mandate that educators hide or lie about non-heterosexual family arrangements and romantic partnerships. How is this contemporary problem reminiscent of structural and system barriers and discrimination from the past?

Q3: Give a real-life example of a school or district that disciplined, suspended, or fired an educator, on the basis of their LGBTQ+ identity, or public allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. If you can, link us to a news clip about it.

Q4: How should schools, particularly elementary schools with younger children, respond to the assertion that exposure to the LGBTQ+ community is not “age-appropriate”?

Q5: How does institutional heteronormativity lead to the absence of LGBTQ+ educators in leadership roles?

Q6: What are some organizing strategies that LGBTQ+ educators and their allies can employ to challenge institutional homophobia and heteronormativity, in anticipation of backlash?









Be bold. Be authentic. Join the next #SafeSpaceConvos chat on Monday, April 23rd at 8:30pm Eastern!