On Tuesday, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) passed a landmark resolution in support of LGBTQ students and staff at their biennial convention.
“WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers and its locals and state affiliates have played a critical and historic role in fighting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and have a long institutional history of leadership in securing better educational and working conditions and better lives for members of all groups facing stigma and pervasive discrimination,” the resolution explained. “RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers and its affiliates will support adoption, implementation and enforcement, at the district, institutional and state levels, of policies that support the safety and educational achievement of LGBTQ students"
The resolution also offered support for the Office for Civil Rights’ recent guidance to protect transgender students.
The move comes just weeks after the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) established formal policies of LGBTQ-inclusion.
"The AFT has been well ahead of the curve in advocating for LGBTQ students, and with this powerful resolution they will help to close the safety gaps for LGBTQ students in our country's largest public school systems," said Ellen Kahn, Director, Children Youth and Families Program. "Teachers are now empowered to set a tone of inclusion and respect in their classroom, changing the landscape for literally millions of students every year. Bravo to the AFT for standing up for all youth."
AFT is made up of 1.6 million members, including pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT, is openly lesbian.
HRC commends the AFT for taking this bold in step in support of LGBTQ youth nationwide. To learn more about how you can support LGBTQ youth, click here.