Safe Schools and the FAIR Act
A training to help educators integrate LGBTQ History into our schools
to increase school safety
Creating a safe school climate through LGBTQ inclusive curricula.
This is a day-long training for teachers, administrators and support staff working in middle and high schools.
This training offers ways to come into compliance with the FAIR Act that are meaningful and relevant to your learning goals.
This workshop has two parts – a morning session for everyone (administrators, support staff and teachers) and an afternoon session for teachers teaching social studies, 8th – 12th grade.
The morning session will cover school strategies for reaching compliance with the FAIR Act – understanding the law, ways it can improve school safety, integrating LGBTQ material into your curricula, and implementation strategies.
The afternoon is a work session for teachers on integrating LGBTQ material into their existing classes. FAIR Classrooms will work with them to develop lessons and activities tailored to their classes, teaching style and learning objectives.
The goal of our workshop is for you to leave with clear plans and next steps. You will also take away as many support resources, studies, LGBTQ history material and lesson plans as you can carry.
Teachers need to attend both the morning and the afternoon sessions so that the lessons they develop are in alignment with the strategies presented in the morning.
Full Workshop Details
The morning session offers a framework for implementing the FAIR Act. We will cover:
The FAIR Act – what it mandates and how it relates to other California regulations including the California Social Studies Framework.
How LGBTQ curricula improves school safety – research and studies that explain the link between including LGBTQ material and decreases in bullying, improved academic performance, and increased school safety for all students.
Integration and Relevance – Instead of having special units on LGBTQ history, FAIR Classrooms focuses on folding the material into lessons that are already being taught. That means much less work for teachers and history lessons that make LGBTQ history part of everyone’s story.
A Tour of LGBTQ History – since many educators have no introduction to LGBTQ history, we will give you an entertaining overview of LGBTQ history, built around 10 sample lesson plans. This tour will help you understand the positive impacts LGBTQ people have had on history.
Strategies for implementing the FAIR Act — examples of how schools have laid the ground work for community acceptance of the change.
Working with resistance – what are the best ways to work with the concerns (and resistance) of parents, community members and students? We will offer strategies and role plays to show how to work with people’s concerns in ways that are open-minded, fair and clear.
Creating your implementation strategies – teams from each school will have time to discuss and develop their ideas for implementing the FAIR Act.
Building on the foundation from the morning, teachers will explore their curricula to find the best ways to integrate LGBTQ material into their classes. Bring your curriculum planners, calendars, and any other material you need for a work session.
(Administrators and other educators are welcome in this session – the focus will be on creating lesson plans and classroom materials in Social Studies classes.)
Teachers can work with colleagues from their school or with teachers from other schools who teach the same subjects.
FAIR Classrooms will work with groups and with each teacher individually to offer ideas, resources, and sample lesson plans to match their classes.
The afternoon session has two goals:
Teachers leave with a clear sense of direction for their classes and, if they are ready, lesson plans they can begin teaching.
These lessons are tailored for each teacher and their students.
Tailoring LGBTQ lessons to your classes
Working with each teacher, we will offer approaches that match the learning objectives, teaching styles, personal interests and the subject areas they are the most comfortable with.
Tailoring LGBTQ history to your students’ interests
FAIR Classrooms focuses on materials that are interesting to all students, not just LGBTQ identified students and their allies.
Students are more open and engaged with LGBTQ history when they discover its connection to their own histories – especially their cultural history. Many do not realize that their cultures had eras of acceptance of LGBTQ people or the key roles LGBTQ people have played in their community – from African Americans in the Harlem Renaissance to China’s 1700 year tradition of celebrating same sex love.
LGBTQ history offers topics that connect with issues that teenagers care about – from romance to religion to teen rebellion, from women’s liberation to special forces soldiers. The lessons we focus on interest students – whatever their personal beliefs – because learning the history connects to issues, discussions and emotions they are having in their own lives today.
A Focus on Excellent Teaching
A final note — Good teaching matters. FAIR Classrooms brings in material that are relevant to teacher’s learning objectives for their class. Add–ons shoe-horned in to meet state requirements do not interest us (or anyone else). We work towards lessons that offer teachers new ways to engage students in historical analysis.
LGBTQ history offers excellent angles to approach social studies issues like changes in social dynamics, the intersections of the state, individuals and communities, and the complexity of historical interpretation of primary sources.
Our goal, above all, is an approach to LGBTQ history that puts excellent teaching first.
For questions about the workshop content, contact Will Grant: Will@Fairclassrooms.com