No Sanctuary: Teachers and the School Reform That Brought Gay Rights to the Masses


No Sanctuary: Teachers and the School Reform That Brought Gay Rights to the Masses

By Stephen Lane

Released September 12, 2018

School can be a special sort of nightmare for LGBTQ youth, who are sometimes targets of verbal or physical harassment with nowhere to turn for support. No Sanctuary tells the inspiring story of a mostly unseen rescue attempt by a small group of teachers who led the push to make schools safer for these at-risk students. Their efforts became the blueprint for Massachusetts’s education policy and a nationwide movement, resulting in one of the most successful and far-reaching school reform efforts in recent times. Stephen Lane sheds light on this largely overlooked but critical series of reforms, placing the Safe Schools movement within the context of the larger gay rights movement and highlighting its key role in fostering greater acceptance of LGBTQ individuals throughout society.

Stephen Lane grew up in Colorado, and has spent most of his adult life in New England. He earned a Bachelors degree with honors in political science from Williams College, and a Masters degree in education from Simmons College. His research has focused extensively on educator networks, influences on teacher practice, the process of education reform, the historiography of education, and the creation of supports for LGBT students in public schools, and he is currently at work on his first book, No Sanctuary, which tells the story of the students and teachers who built the first comprehensive programs to make schools safer and more inclusive for LGBT youth. In 2016, Stephen, who teaches history, economics, and climate change policy at Concord-Carlisle High School, in Concord, Massachusetts, was named the “Distinguished K-12 Educator” by the American Meteorological Society, the first non-science teacher to be so honored. In his spare time, Stephen coaches cross-country and track & field. He lives in Concord, with his wife.