Supporting LGBT Children nline

The importance of supporting LGBT+ children online.

June is Pride Month – a month dedicated to celebrating all the LGBT+ communities! Supporting LGBT+ children online is vital, so we can work towards creating a safe environment for all. According to the most recent Stonewall School Report:

  • 96% of LGBT+ young people say the internet has helped them understand their sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • 95% of LGBT+ young people say the internet has helped them find positive role models.
  • 90% of LGBT+ young people say they can be themselves online.
Supporting LGBT+ children online

Let’s take a look at how we can support them, by fostering inclusivity, understanding their online needs, and taking steps to ensure their safety and well-being!

Supporting LGBT+ children online.

In today’s digital age, the internet is very much a part of our day-to-day lives. From social media, online games, and communication apps, it’s easier than ever to connect and share with others. However, for LGBT+ children, it can be so much more. It’s an important source of support and information, a place they feel comfortable to express themselves and a community where they can meet others.

Supporting LGBT+ children online effectively means we need to educate ourselves about their needs and the challenges they face. It’s important to recognise that each child’s experience will vary, so we need to be able to provide personalised support. So how can we do this?

Education and awareness.

There’s been a big focus on LGBT+ in recent years through social media and other media coverage. Take the time to learn about the different sexual orientations, gender identities and accepted terminology. Look into the concerns and risks faced by LGBT+ children online (such as cyberbullying, discrimination and harassment). Having this knowledge means we have a better understanding to provide support and guidance.

Creating a safe space.

Encouraging children to express themselves freely and honestly (without fear of judgement!) means you’re providing a safe space for them to feel comfortable discussing their concerns or seeking guidance. Let them know you’re there to listen and support them.

Promote positive online connections.

There’s lots of online communities, platforms, and forums where LGBT+ children can find support and make connections. Help them identify and engage with these online spaces so they can find positive influences and role models who’ll support their journey of self-discovery.

While we should support them being online and joining LGBT+ communities, it’s important to talk about the importance of online safety. We’ve put together other blog posts around social media and online safety for children, cyberbullying and screen time and digital wellbeing which is full of useful information for schools.

Advocate.

Advocacy is a powerful tool in supporting LGBT+ children online. In school, adopt inclusive policies that protect and support everyone, including your LGBT+ students. Having robust filtering in place will help keep students safe from harmful content online. And with proactive monitoring you can keep an eye open for any suspicious or worrying online behaviours such as cyberbullying, hate speech or discrimination.

How can we help?

Supporting LGBT+ children online requires a combined effort from parents, schools and the wider community! By implementing these efforts, you’ll be part of creating a safer and more inclusive environment for your school and giving children the opportunity to be themselves.

There’s some great resources from Childnet, UKSIC, and Stonewall to help your school support your LGBT+ students. Plus we’re just an email or phone call away to help you with your school’s connectivity and safeguarding.

Let’s celebrate the diversity of our children and help them flourish all year round!

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