Transgender students in the Safe Sitter® classroom

Safe Sitter, Inc. has long believed that Safe Sitter® classrooms must be safe, nurturing environments for all students. Not only do students learn best when they feel safe and accepted, it is important that Instructors model the nurturing behavior that we expect students to show when caring for siblings or younger children. Like all other students, LGBTQ+ students, including transgender students, need and deserve a safe and nurturing place to learn.

There are several things that Safe Sitter® Instructors can do to provide an environment in which all students can learn successfully.

  1. Accept and affirm students’ identities by using the name and pronouns that the student prefers. Safe Sitter® has revised our Registration Form so that the Instructor will have this information before class. Download the new Registration Form in Instructor Resources (under the student class forms tab).
  2. Set the tone in your classroom. As always, Instructors are encouraged to welcome each student and their parent(s) as they arrive, smile, and greet them by their preferred name.
  3. Lead by example. If you misspeak by using pronouns that are not a student’s preferred pronouns, apologize and make the correction.
  4. Gently correct others who misspeak when using pronouns that are not a student’s preferred pronouns.
  5. Respond immediately and firmly to comments from students that bully or demean other students. Unkind comments are never to be tolerated in a Safe Sitter® classroom. Remind students that they must be respectful of their Instructors and their peers in order to participate in the course.
  6. Ensure access for all students to either a unisex bathroom or a restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control published data that indicated that nearly 2% of high school students at that time identified as transgender, and further studies by others have estimated an even higher percentage among Gen Z as a whole. As such, it is more common than ever to have students in the Safe Sitter® classroom that identify as transgender, and Safe Sitter, Inc. is committed to ensuring that our classrooms are safe, welcoming, and supportive learning environments for all students.

Finally, federal, state, and local antidiscrimination laws protect students, and Safe Sitter® Providers should always be aware of and in compliance with such laws. Instructors are encouraged to learn more about supporting students and providing safe learning environments by visiting the resources below: