Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services

Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta Schools A Guide for Teachers

This guide draws upon current legislation, law, educational policy and research to develop a critical framework for creating and sustaining gay–straight student alliances (GSAs) in Alberta schools.

Practical strategies, suggestions and a list of frequently asked questions are provided to help school administrators, counsellors, teachers and students anticipate and overcome potential barriers and challenges to this important social justice and human rights work.

GSAs are identified as a critical change agent that can help to create safe, caring and inclusive schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, queer (LGBTQ) students and their allies.

Correspondingly, the three most significant factors in building healthy and resilient school communities for LGBTQ students are identified as (1) development of school policies on inclusion, (2) professional development training and awareness building, and (3) the active and visible presence of GSAs or associated LGBTQ support groups in schools (Wells, 2006, p. 4).