Supporting LGBTQ+ students is a win-win for schools, experts say

Author: Ali Condon

LGBTQ+ Pride flag

Students in schools that support LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to achieve academic success and graduate career-ready, experts have confirmed.

It might not come as a surprise that schools offering care, safety, and encouragement to LGBTQ+ youths will have a more positive impact on their students, but there’s no harm in having that backed up by professionals.

San Diego State University assistant professor Vincent Pompei and Loyola Marymount University School of Psychology professor Emily Fisher were happy to be those professionals in a recent Q&A with the San Diego Union and declared that supporting LGBTQ+ students at school is a win-win scenario.

The two experts were asked about the recent heap of bills introduced by Governor Gavin Newsom to protect LGBTQ+ youth in the state of California.

California governor Gavin Newsom, who supported an anti-book ban bill, smiles as he wears a white shirt, blue tie and dark suit jacket
Governor Gavin Newsom has passed a number of laws to protect LGBTQ+ youth in California. (Getty)

Among the bills passed by Governor Newsom were SB 857, which sets our establishment of an advisory task force to identify LGBTQ+ pupil needs across the state, and AB 1078, which threatens school boards with fines if they’re found attempting to ban books that discuss gender identities.

It turns out that, surprise, surprise, these sorts of bills, which so many other states run in the opposite direction of, have long-lasting benefits for both students, LGBTQ+ or not, and their schools.

Speaking on the perks of these new bills for both LGBTQ+ and cis-het youths, Fisher said that the enforcement of a diverse curriculum for all students was a big win.

“While there has been a lot more talk about sexuality education, and I think that inclusion is critical, it also just involves showing LGBTQ kids reflections of themselves in the curriculum. 

Students in a classroom.
Experts have confirmed that supporting LGBTQ+ students has a positive impact on all students. (Getty Images)

“Also, it encourages other students to learn about the broad spectrum of human diversity and can change social attitudes toward specific groups of people.”

Pompei added: “We actually have well-established research that says that when schools do certain things, not only do LGBTQ+ students feel safer and more connected at school, but so do their non-LGBTQ peers. So it’s a win-win.”

“From a researcher’s perspective, sharing as an educational leader and researcher, this is also common knowledge that when students feel safe and connected, whether they’re LGBTQ or not, academic achievement rises, attendance improves, and the likelihood that they will graduate college and be career-ready also improves, along with the mental health measures. 

“I would encourage schools to follow the evidence-based practices, which are also supported in California’s current education codes. 

“Luckily, we have passed policies and laws in California that are directly aligned to the research that I’m talking about, so the laws that support and guide educators in California public schools are directly aligned to what schools can do to ensure that students who are LGBTQ don’t experience discrimination, bullying, harassment, and intimidation.”

Hopefully, it’s a matter of time before other state educators and lawmakers might follow suit.

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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Ali Condon

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