LGBTQ Resources for Team Members
Team DPS strives to create a community in which our students and employees feel happy, healthy and authentically whole. We acknowledge that this support looks different for everyone. By providing targeted resources for our employees from underrepresented backgrounds, our hope is to create an inclusive environment so that all members of Team DPS feel a sense of belonging and are able to show up authentically. This includes feeling supported and accepted for our diverse values, beliefs and needs.
In June 2018, DPS participated in Denver’s PRIDE Festival with over 100 employees, educators and families coming out to support our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ+) community. In addition to a large turnout of DPS teammates marching in the DPS Pride Parade along with Superintendent Tom Boasberg, DPS hosted a booth in Youth Alley where teachers, principals and DPS teammates had a chance to engage with countless community members who were both impressed and excited to see a school district take such a public stand in supporting all students. To ensure Every Child Succeeds, we are engaging in multiple initiatives to improve the inclusion of our LGBTQ+ community.
- Professional Development: The LGBTQ+ Belong Group is partnering with the Culture, Equity and Leadership Team to create LGBTQ+ inclusive professional development to empower educators to create inclusive office and classroom environments for students and employees alike.
- Student Supports: The district has also been taking intentional steps to directly understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ students and support them in our schools
- Last year, LGBTQ+ students and families met with Tom Boasberg to share their experiences within our schools.
- The Whole Child Survey allows students to report bullying based on the perceived sexual orientation.
- Currently, bully prevention programming is being implemented in 9 middle schools across the district.
- Denver Public Schools is partnering with One Colorado’s GSA Network to support district Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA).
- CollaboRATE: Part of ensuring equity across the district is making sure everyone is counted. That’s why the LGBTQ+ Belong Group is partnering with DPS to allow all employees to voluntarily and confidentially self-identify their gender and orientation through the CollaboRATE survey. This is an opportunity to gather information regarding the experience of our LGBTQ+ community and develop and monitor initiatives that ensure an inclusive and equitable environment for some of our most marginalized community members.
- Glossary of Terms: DPS Belong groups have created a comprehensive glossary of terms to help further educate team members on equitable language. View the glossary.
The following are resources curated from LGBTQ+ and education advocacy groups that educators and students can use in supporting their DPS LGBTQ+ community.
Lesson Plans and Instruction
Human Rights Campaign - Safe & Welcoming Schools
- Educator Guides for GLSEN Programs
- LGBTQ Definitions for Adults and Children
- Responding To Children's Questions on LGBTQ Topics
- Films for LGBTQ- and Gender-Inclusive Schools
GLSEN Professional Development
*Denver Public Schools wants to recognize our mistake in the use of “transgendered” rather than “transgender” in the initial communication about issues facing our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ+) community and have since updated the letter. We have learned from members of the community that transgender is the most inclusive term and that the word should be used as an adjective, not a verb. Please see the excerpt below from GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide for further explanation as to why.
The adjective transgender should never have an extraneous "-ed" tacked onto the end. An "-ed" suffix adds unnecessary length to the word and can cause tense confusion and grammatical errors. It also brings transgender into alignment with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer. You would not say that Elton John is "gayed" or Ellen DeGeneres is "lesbianed," therefore you would not say Chaz Bono is "transgendered."
We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to our Belong groups whose collaboration has helped put these resources together.