Advocating for Updated LGBTQ+ School Policy in Colorado
In recent years, LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion has made remarkable strides across the United States. Colorado, known for its progressive stance, has the opportunity to take a significant step forward by updating its school policies to better serve LGBTQ+ students. This resource is a roadmap for those passionate about championing change and creating a nurturing environment where all students can thrive.
1. Research and Understand
The journey to advocacy begins with knowledge. Research existing school policies and pinpoint areas that lack inclusivity. Familiarize yourself with best practices and successful policy implementations from other states. Understanding what policy currently exists that protects your rights is important information that will empower you in conversations about your rights. For example Colorado Code of Regulations Rule 81.8 states that “Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to the following…(4) deliberately misusing an individual’s preferred name, form of address or gender related pronoun”.
2. Build Allies and Raise Awareness
Power lies in numbers. Collaborate with fellow students, parents, teachers, and local LGBTQ+ organizations. By uniting diverse voices, your advocacy gains strength and resonance. Advocacy work is challenging at times, it’s best not to go at it alone. Take time to identify everyone’s strengths and work together as a team. As you are identifying your allies, take this time to educate, not only your allies but your community as well. Educate your community about the importance of updated LGBTQ+ school policies. Host workshops, organize town hall discussions, and leverage social media platforms to amplify your message and rally support.
4. Meet with Admin, Teachers, and other Decision Makers
Clear and thoughtful communication with those who can create change is a crucial part of the advocacy process.. Arrange meetings with school administrators, school board members, and even local legislators. Present well-prepared arguments, backed by research and personal stories, to emphasize the urgency of policy updates. Take the time to properly prepare for these meetings, using scripts or note cards if you need so that you can clearly articulate your point of view.
5. Negotiate a Solution
Be ready to negotiate for a possible solution. Remember that this could look like a wide range of possibilities, some come prepared with a few possibilities and know where you are willing to negotiate and where your non-negotiables are. Maybe your solutions look like policy change, maybe it looks like a restorative conversation, maybe it looks more training and education. Informed educators create safer and more inclusive spaces, paving the way for a positive educational experience for all students. One Colorado can be a resource for such training and education, if you’re interested in learning more about the trainings we offer for schools and educators you can contact us here.
The significance of updated LGBTQ+ school policies cannot be overstated. Inclusive policies not only reflect a commitment to respecting and protecting all students but also contribute to improved mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being. By advocating for change, you're contributing to a safer, more equitable educational journey for LGBTQ+ students, fostering a culture of acceptance and diversity that enriches the entire school community.