It's Elementary

It's Elementary

The groundbreaking film that addresses anti-gay prejudice by providing adults with practical lessons on how to talk with children about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Part of The Respect for All Project.

It’s Elementary: A Guide to Community Organizing, Professional Development, and K-8 Curriculum

Since the original release of It’s Elementary in 1996, educators, parents, principals and professors have shared hundreds of stories about how they have used this film to prevent prejudice among children. In this new edition of the film’s accompanying guide, their stories are drawn upon to offer inspiration, provide further guidance and share additional resources for creating LGBT-inclusive schools.

The 136-page guide is designed to serve as a clearinghouse of ideas and resources for using It’s Elementary to make change on many levels in the classroom, in schools of education, with school boards and within communities. Included is information that supports the use of the film both as a tool for community organizing and as a tool for professional development.

There are six sections in this guide. Each section includes specific references to the film, helpful websites and cross-references other sections of the guide where related resources can be found. In addition, we have assembled a handful of lessons and resources specifically for teachers to use as part of direct classroom instruction.

A printed and bound copy of the 136-page guide comes with institutional and school purchases of the DVD or VHS set. Each DVD also includes an electronic PDF version of the guide.


Never in my work researching exclusion among youth have I come across such a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate resource for pro-actively and systemically addressing teasing and harassment motivated by perceived sexual orientation or gender conformity.

The ability of communities to come together and collectively work to ensure healthy and safe learning environments for all children as a result of working with this guide should not be underestimated. It is truly a tremendous resource for the education community and for all those who care about the health and well-being of young people.

–Stacey Horn, associate professor of educational psychology and human development in the College of Education at University of Illinois, Chicago

It’s Elementary is still one of the best educational tools I have ever used to create caring and respectful schools. It’s Still Elementary, with its comprehensive teaching and organizing guide arrives in a timely way; its title could easily be It’s Still Necessary. As an educator I am grateful to have the outstanding Respect For All resources available, and as a grandmother, I am doubly grateful because I know these materials are helping to create a fairer and more humane world for all of us.

–Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann: Anti-Bias Education Consultant, co-author of Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice (Scholastic, 2000), North Carolina Safe Schools Advisory Board

Discussing LBGT issues with students can be sensitive and tricky for school counselors. By providing vocabulary, dialogue-starting activities, and professional resources, this guide shows how and why counselors should embrace this opportunity, and removes the fear and mystery of talking about gay issues in a school setting.

–Jill Cook, Assistant Director, American School Counselor Association

Finally, a resource that speaks clearly and passionately to a wide audience about how bias hurts all of us. In easily accessible language and a well-organized format, the reader gains the knowledge, courage, and skills necessary to discuss LGBT issues with a range of audiences within our educational system, from youth to administrators.

— Virginia Casper, Ph.D., Teacher Educator, Bank Street College of Education

In my years of working on issues of bullying, I routinely hear teachers embrace school climate programs but shy away from talking to their students about homophobia. The new It’s Elementary guide takes away the fear of discussing gay and lesbian people in the classroom, and is a needed complement to any anti-bullying program. A must-have for anyone serious about preparing a new generation of youth and their teachers.

— Susan Swearer, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of School Psychology, University of Nebraska – Lincoln; Primary Investigator, Target Bullying