We're here to make safe and inclusive learning environments where bullying has no place.
Let's Teach + Affirm Students in NJ!
Garden State Equality and community partners—including North Jersey Pride, GLSEN Central New Jersey, HiTOPS, Spectrum Diversity, the Innisfree Foundation, New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, and ACLU-NJ—will empower schools to be safe and affirming learning spaces for all students, including LGBT students, students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.
What's the Plan?
Teach and Affirm involves lauding schools for filling a set of outcomes related to diversity and equality, and also doing concerted statewide outreach to schools that request GSE and partners’ support in meeting those outcomes.
What Are the Outcomes?
We'll recognize schools that have fulfilled at least a third of these criteria:
- Existence of GSAs and affinity groups for other minority populations
- If affinity groups aren’t available, then we will accept a pledge from the school that they will support affinity groups, and allow GSE and community partners to work with the school or district to create affinity groups.
- Provision of, within the current school year, and to all staff including Educational Support Professionals (ESPs), LGBT cultural competence trainings, as well as training in compliance with the NJ Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights (ABR), Law Against Discrimination (LAD), Title IX, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Policy that ensures that that all transgender students have a right to use facilities and, if applicable, single-sex classes that match their gender identity.
- A school nondiscrimination policy in line with NJ DOE standards.
- Programming about LGBT issues during the Week of Respect.
- Absence of a zero tolerance policy.
- A discipline policy that provides alternatives to suspension and expulsion, and other harsh penalties.
- A dress code that is neither strictly gendered (i.e., it doesn’t say that cross-dressing is against school code) nor shaming of a particular gender (i.e., it doesn’t say that girls can’t wear leggings).
- Has a health curriculum that has inclusive, affirming content for LGBT students.
- A health curriculum that addresses students with disabilities.
Help Us Teach and Affirm Students in New Jersey!
Provide us your name, contact info, and let us know how a school you're familiar with measures up with these criteria. All information will help us map out where the best schools are. We'll post information about leading schools once we get a critical mass of fact-checked information.
North Jersey Pride, GLSEN Central New Jersey, HiTOPS, Spectrum Diversity, the Innisfree Foundation, New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, and ACLU of New Jersey