When something happens at our schools, school administration needs to hear from us, the community! In response to events surrounding Millard North High School and the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha, this is a quick guide on what makes a great letter. Every voice is important: Current students, parents, alumni, and community members. The most important part is to share why this decision or issue matters to you.
What does a letter look like?
Here’s a good letter structure, in 10 sentences or less:
- Your name, where you live
- Your connection to the school (I’m a student/parent/graduate or I live in the ___ area)
- Your ask (“Please reconsider this policy” / “Please show your support for LGBTQ youth by….”)
- Why does this matter to you?
- Give 2 reasons to support or change a policy
- (Optional) 1 personal story
- Your ask (repeat)
- Share where you can be reached for questions
- “Thank you for your time”
Often folks say:
“I’m not good with words.”
“I don’t have a connection to this school, should I still write in?”
“How does letter writing help?” Your voice matters.
A 1-sentence email is better than silence! Anti-LGBTQ people are writing to our schools constantly. Our schools need to hear from LGBTQ people and our allies as supportive voices. We can change the minds of conflicted school admins and give back-up to friendly admins who need more stories from their community.
What can you say in your letter?
Talk about yourself
- “I am a gay man who graduated from this school.”
- “I came out as transgender in high school, and here’s my experience.”
Relate support to learning
- “Supportive school environments help students focus on learning.”
What support means to you/would have meant to you as a young person
- “If I had felt supported at school, I would have avoided…”
- “When I was in school, my teacher had a safe space poster. That made me feel safe and welcome…”
Dear School Principal,
My name is Alex Smith and I live in Omaha. I am a graduate of Example High School. I am writing to you to ask you to support LGBTQ+ youth by revising your policy on LGBTQ posters.
While I was in HS, I came out as gay. My parents were not supportive of me. I remember walking into my English teacher’s classroom the morning after coming out to my parents and seeing a rainbow flag and safe space poster on the classroom door. I felt so safe and supported, and was able to talk to that teacher for help. Seeing those rainbow and safe space stickers put me at ease and gave me hope on really hard days.
It’s so important to support LGBTQ+ young people. Simple posters and rainbow flags mean the world to young people. It meant the world to me.
Again, I’m asking you to support LGBTQ+ youth by revising your policy. You can reach me at this email. Thank you for your time.
Millard North Principal:
MPS School Board: