Eshel’s leadership published a call-to-action in the Education Supplement of the Jewish Week. You can help us get the message out by sharing this open letter with those who are in positions to make a difference.
Here are concrete action steps that school leaders can take right now to ensure the wellbeing of all their students:
BE OPEN. Make sure your students understand that if and when they come out, they will be supported and protected. Including a candid statement of understanding and support in your student guide and as part of your back-to-school orientation can calm fears and relieve anxieties.
BE EXPLICIT. Let students know exactly what kind of support they will receive and what protections are in place for them. For an example, see Shalhevet High School’s policy statement.
STUDY THE WELLBEING GUIDE. Use “A Guide for The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils in Orthodox Schools” for board deliberation, staff training, and classroom study, to launch conversations about LBGT+ inclusion in religious settings.
PUT TOGETHER A WELLBEING TEAM. Schools can shape a well-being team that includes administrative, educational, and religious leaders, mental health professionals, and local stakeholders (parents, alumni, and students) to consider the various approaches to policy, pedagogy, and curriculum.
Please share with principals, heads of schools, board members, educators, and other stakeholders!