The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has launched a new section of its website devoted to improving school climate and support of LGBTQ+ students in Maine.
“Every student in Maine has an irrefutable right to feel safe, recognized and valued in their school,” said Commissioner of Education Pender Makin (she/her/hers). “The Maine Department of Education is deeply committed to providing schools and educators the resources they need to ensure that theirs is a safe and welcoming climate, and to validating the voices and experiences of our LGBTQ+ students and school community members.”
The coordination of the website and its resources is the result of a year-long effort and partnership between Maine DOE, OUT Maine, and GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders) to provide meaningful resources and information to schools to give them the tools to support not only their LGBTQ+ students but their families and school staff as well. The resources are part of an initiative across the Maine DOE to provide resources and supports to ensure schools are safe and equitable for all students.
Our Stance: The Maine Department of Education supports all LGBTQ+ identifying, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender queer and questioning students, families, and school staff.
“We are thrilled with and grateful for DOE’s strong statement of support for LGBTQ+ youth in Maine schools,” said Jeanne Dooley, Executive Director of OUT Maine. “The thoughtful collection of resources and specific guidance for school districts will be extremely helpful to schools that have been seeking DOE leadership on laws and best practices.”
The website includes data about Maine’s LGBTQ+ youth, the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) data, and other vital tools for Maine schools to ensure equity for LGBTQ+ identifying students. There are also additional resources specifically for students and parents.
The website of resources can be accessed here: LGBTQ+ and Gender Expansive Resources. Additional resources for supporting schools in reducing in-school violence and building positive school culture are:
- SEL4ME: a free to use, comprehensive, CASEL aligned and trauma informed, PreK-12th grade Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, and;
- Maine School Safety Center (MSSC): contacts and resources to help develop a safe school infrastructure delivering high quality, up-to-date best practices, procedures, training, technical assistance, and support to Maine Schools.