Click Here FIRST to find 
advocacy groups and organizations
in your state

                           STEPS FOR CREATING
                           STATE LEVEL CHANGE

Step 1:

Look up what your state requires for each school district at:  

Learn what the statistics are for bullying, adolescent suicide and additional risks faced by LGBTQIA youth at your state health department.
For Utah: https://health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/Suicide/youth-suicide-factsheet-12-14.pdf

Step 2:

Go to your school district website. Look for the following:
 - Surveys and results
 - posted policies on safety
 - Policies on discrimination and LGBTQIA youth
 - Copy of the discipline matrix
 - bullying, cyberbullying and hazing
- training required of staff and frequency-- note often these are online, poor quality or simply not specific to the unique issues in any given area -- ask for information on the training available to staff in your district.

**NOTE: If you can’t find these, call your district and ask where they can be found**

Call your district and ask about accountability practices, information gathering, and path of recourse for any parent, student or staff member feeling procedures are not being followed, or if schools are sweeping things under the rug. ACCESSIBILITY is important if a district wants to truly know what is happening and be in touch with the general climate/culture in schools.

Step 3:

Once you understand the policies and laws of your state, as well as how these are implemented in your district, you can determine if they contain the Necessary Components. If they do not, contact your state school board members to ask that they implement them as part of state requirements.
Ask your state school board members what accountability practices they follow. Is it voluntary compliance? If so, present the dangers -- most common:
 - Sweeping it under the rug - simply avoiding talking about the connection between bullying, suicide and being LGBTQIA

 - No training on these issues - or poor, quick, low engagement training
 - Not enough training in these critical areas 
 - No policies mandated which protect ALL students

 - No Anonymous surveying of students and staff which include questions about gender and sexual identity and orientation and safety. 
 - Reporting and communication problems:  are all reports documented over time? Who is gathering and analyzing reports? What do they do when schools don't report bullying??
 - No accountability or consequences for schools who are not protecting all youth

Step 4:
- Form or join a coalition focused on safety for all students to empower your plea
 - Ask if you can bring speakers and information to the state school board
 - Educate them on why it is critical to include the Necessary Components 
 - Be public about your efforts and the response -- give them positive press when they are listening and doing something about the problem
 - Draw attention and make people aware so they can get involved - if the press is not supportive, utilize the power of social media to get the word out! Don't give up if the general Media choose to ignore the problem. Often they are operating from Bias due to pressure from ownership or from sponsors or companies advertising with them. 

Step 5:

Don’t give up! Our schools need to address the growing crisis of adolescent suicide, bullying and the LGBTQIA connection. They are very clearly connected and that cannot be ignored or denied any longer. This is about safety and health for ALL students!!

I loved my daughter as all parents do - with all of my being!! Our children are our greatest wealth! Sadly more parents will continue to lose their children - at a rate which is rapidly increasing - until this is addressed.