Osseo Area Schools, Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
K-12 education seems to be a common denominator among Americans. Most folks have an opinion about our educational system based on the fact that the majority of the American public spent some time in the school setting. Unfortunately, the personal views held often are the result of our own experiences. “Well, if it was good enough for me, then it ought to be good enough for today's kids.” Unfortunately, these attitudes and beliefs do not allow for changes in technology, information, and society. We seem to be educating students in the same ways that we always have, with an occasional bright spot out there. Curriculum and information, though updated, is presented in the same manner and with the same fears and concerns that have always been present. Schools are reluctant to address political, religious, or social issues leaving that up to families and the community. Thankfully there are those who believe that K-12 educators have a responsibility to address difficult topics in our public schools, and this would include concerns for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (herein referred to as GLBT) students, families, and staff members.
The areas addressed in this chapter include federal, state, and local policy and law, student support systems, employee rights and adult support systems, and curriculum and information in K-12 public education. These topics will be covered each in its own section with the realization and understanding that there is generally some overlap among these categories.