USA Today |
When Lisa Forman’s daughter Becca Damante came out as queer in middle school, the loving mother couldn’t shake one recurring thought: What was it like for her child when she started reading mainstream books – ones that lacked LGBTQ-inclusive storylines?
For Forman, lack of LGBTQ-affirmation in schools led her to found Pride and Less Prejudice, a national organization that’s been donating age-appropriate LGBTQ-inclusive books to preschool through third grade classes since last year. The group has been donating even more books this year during the pandemic.
Research shows having LGBTQ storylines in the classroom impacts all students, not just those who think they may be LGBTQ. Students in schools with LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum are 82% more likely to report that their classmates are accepting of LGBTQ people than students in schools without LGBTQ-inclusive curriculums, according to the GLSEN National School Climate Survey.
A recent survey from The Trevor Project, a national group focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youths, also shows that positive school environments make the biggest difference in kids’ lives, compared to other environments such as the home, the community and work settings.