LGBT Parents on Finding an Inclusive School for Their KidsThe Next Family
“LGBT Parents on How to Pick a School for Your Kids” originally appeared on The Next Family, and was reprinted with permission.
When moms Brandy Black and Susan Howard went on the hunt for preschools for their daughter, they had to consider the fact that they were a two-mom family. In Los Angeles, it is easier than most cities because there are quite a few LGBTQ families, but they still had to carefully consider where they were putting their kids and have conversations with the faculty and staff in order to ensure that their children didn’t feel excluded in any way because they don’t have a dad.
Black and Howard considered a few schools before choosing one that would best fit their family. They even tried to hold themselves to finding a school that would have at least one other LGBT family so their children would have a classmate and family to be able to relate to.
“At the end of the day, it’s not so super important. I think it depends on your comfortability level,” Black said when looking for schools with other two-mom or two-dad families. She added, “For us, as long as the teachers, and other parents, and the kids are familiar with your family, and you have made them comfortable with your family, it really doesn’t make any difference to children.”
They also share how they helped the director of their school and the teachers learn more about their family. They provided the administration with information about their family such as what their kids called them as parents and some great children’s books that would reflect their family.
Howard added that she’s very mellow and not into focusing that she’s in a lesbian or two-mom relationship, however, she adds that as a parent you have to make sure your kids are armed and comfortable. “If suddenly it’s Mother’s Day and you have two dads, you’re jacked.” She explains that it’s important to speak with teachers so that when situations like that arise, they have it in their head not to exclude your children or any other children who come from a diverse family.
The moms also encourage LGBT parents to volunteer at the school and be present for events so that other families, parents, and administrators get to know you and feel comfortable around your family and your children. If you work, they have other suggestions for you, such as setting up playdates or throwing a fun, relaxed event for the class at the park — what Black did before school started last year.
More from The Next Family:
- Shattering the glass ceiling for boys
- Lesbian moms: What I would tell my younger self
- The hard days of parenting