GSAFE staff earns Welcoming Schools certification for K-5 schools

GSAFE’s Brian J. earns Welcoming Schools certification for K-5 Schools

GSAFE is pleased to announce that Senior Director of Education and Policy Brian J. recently became one of the first Certified Facilitators in the new national Welcoming Schools Facilitator Program.

Welcoming Schools is a comprehensive approach to improve elementary school climate with training, resources, and lessons to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying and gender stereotyping, and support transgender and gender-expansive students.

“As an admirer of Brian J’s work in creating safe and supportive schools for LGBTQ students, I am thrilled to congratulate and welcome Brian as one of our first Certified Facilitators,” said Johanna Eager, Director of Welcoming Schools. “Brian went through a rigorous training process and achieved all requirements to represent the Welcoming Schools program in elementary schools across the nation.”

“I’m excited to offer the Welcoming Schools program to Wisconsin school districts,” said Brian J. “Welcoming Schools adds an important component to our menu of GSAFE training opportunities for Wisconsin schools.”

“Elementary schools have historically been under served with regard to LGBTQ and gender topics,” Brian J. continued. “More and more we’re hearing from parents of elementary age transgender children who fear for their children’s safety. Whether you have a child who has two moms and wants to share about their family or you have a gender-expansive first grader who is being harassed for how they express their gender, educators need the tools to address these topics with students and families in age-appropriate ways. Welcoming Schools does just that.”

“For anyone interested in working with Welcoming Schools professional development training modules, you would be lucky to work with Brian J.!” said Eager.

Two additional Wisconsin educators, Michele Hatchell (Madison Metropolitan School District) and Melissa Tempel (Milwaukee Public Schools), recently became Welcoming Schools Certified Facilitators, as well.

GSAFE is currently scheduling Welcoming Schools trainings for the 2016-2017 academic year. Most Welcoming Schools modules are approximately two hours in length, and can be presented over the course of two sessions. Please contact to learn more.

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“Without the knowledge, resources, and extra effort of GSAFE, I have no question that we would not have a Gay-Straight Alliance in our school.” – David Witte, Middle School Principal