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Although principals should be sensitive to differing perspectives within their school community, they must provide the leadership to ensure a safe and affirming educational environment for all students.It is important to develop policies based on science and research that dispel misinformation and help students, staff members, and parents work together to create a school climate in which the rights and dignity of all individuals are upheld.

A study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) examined 42 of the largest school districts in the country and found that almost half received a failing grade when it came to creating a positive climate for sexual minority students (GLSEN, 1999).

For many sexual minority students, however, schools are unsafe and survival, not education, is the priority.

Indeed, these students are among the most vulnerable students in middle level and high schools.

LGBT students, however, are often denied such support because they are afraid of being misunderstood or rejected by their family, friends, and teachers.

The instinct for many is to hide their identity, which deepens their sense of confusion, isolation, and self-doubt.

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