First off before starting my power point I need to explain what the LGBT community is, the LGBT community is the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community, it is referred to as a community because it’s a group of people with something in common who look to help and support each other in a world that sometimes doesn’t necessarily accept them. This power point is important because as future educators we will all have to help make school a safe place for children who are within this community and being a teacher you will meet children who may need help and support.
Hetrick-Martin Institute school that was built specifically as a place where learning could occur despite a students sexual orientation. Different part of the country have vastly differing opinions on the LGBT community in general. This is somewhat expected with their being more liberal and conservative parts of the country and as can be expected the opinions within these areas of the LGBT community usually corresponds with how liberal of conservative that area is in general. Its not necessarily something you think of until you experience it, I experienced it first hand in moving from Boston, MA; a place where the LGBT community is widely accepted, people with different sexual orientation are protected in the workplace and by other forms of legislature and even allowed to get married to MI, where I was shocked to learn that people aren’t even protected by law within the work place.
Gay Straight Alliances are possibly the most well known of organizations that advocate for LGBT students in schools, and in order to take a lot out of this power point you have to know what a GSA is. GSA’s have become very popular and offer great outlets for students in schools.
The main issue surrounding the LGBT community within school systems would be how schools are going about making schools a more accepting and welcoming environment for LGBT student. The development of GSA’s has allowed for bounds in acceptance of LGBT students within the school system by giving LGBT students a place to go and by being open to straight allies allowing them to show their support and influence their peers.
The biggest issue within Education concerning LGBT students would be the tension that exists within schools and the prejudices towards these students within schools. While the world on a whole is unfortunately prejudiced to people with different sexual orientations (some places more so than others) schools have to work so that they are the one place where people of the LGBT community feel safe and comfortable be that gay lesbian and transgender students or faculty.
School has to be a safe place for children within the LGBT community. Schools today while safe to a degree still need to work on making schools a less scary place for LGBT students. We as teachers have to work to make the school environment a safe one for alternative students so that children with different sexual orientations are granted all the same privileges as their straight peers including feeling comfortable within the school environment.
The issue of sexual orientation is becoming more and more of a school issue because with the passage of time many LGBT youth are coming out at younger and younger ages. While a few short decades ago most people came out in college or later in life if at all LGBT youth come out on average in high school now and sometimes even younger. Knowing this it becomes obvious that we as future educators will have to accommodate LGBT youth within our classrooms, and that it won’t be an issue for just secondary teachers but teachers at the middle level as well.
These are just statistics to be thought aboutAs can be seen the rate of people still being harassed is unacceptably high, and even though these results are a little dated and things have gotten better harassment is still a HUGE issue with LGBT members within the education field.Also by looking at this slide and the formation and growth of GSA’s, GSA’s are growing more and more popular and have become more and more common within schools across the nation to offer students a place where they can feel safe and a way for straight people to show their support of their gay and lesbian friends.
Legal issues about the LGBT community are a political hotbed and there are changes concerning legislature regarding the LGBT community. As I mentioned earlier state laws in regard to LGBT people vary radically from state to state with states like Michigan not even having laws that designate crimes against gay and lesbian peoples as hate crimes as opposed to Massachusetts where, as I mentioned earlier, gay and lesbian couples can be married. Also the laws surrounding bullying and the verbal harassment of students within schools is causing the creation of certain laws and amendments to try and stop harassment within schools.
The information regarding these two bills and just how they would effect LGBT students is mentioned on PFLAG about the first amendment- “This is an amendment to the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. It would expand the legislation to include bullying and harassment under the definition of violence and provide funding for programs to address and prevent bullying and harassment. While it currently includes “actual or perceived … sexual orientation” as part of the definition of bullying”about the second amendment-: “The Safe Schools Improvement Act would amend the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, which is part of the No Child Left Behind Act to instruct school districts to specifically adopt sexual orientation and gender identity or expression language in existing anti-bullying policies that specifically cover sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as require states to include bullying and harassment data in the statewide needs assessments.”
Many schools are addressing the issue of the advocating for LGBT community by running programs that encourage tolerance amongst the students and that allow students to show their support of people within the LGBT communitySuch events are days of silence in which students don’t speak for a day and have a day of silence for those within the gay and lesbian community as a show of support, other schools are also having a “no name calling week” to draw awareness to name calling and to try and stop name calling and its hurtful effects. One example of such an event here at CMU is pride week that’s coming up April 19th -23rd where gay and lesbian students as well as allies can show their support in a week filled with activities to help raise awareness about the LGBT community and raise support for the community.
The LGBT Community Within The School System learning to collaborate and communicate with the LGBT community to make schools safer more accepting places
What is the LGBT community? The LGBT community refers to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community. As with any public or social institution it can be expected that there are/will be people with different sexual orientations within the education system, be it teachers or students
There are LGBT students and faculty within schools across the country Schools across the country range in degrees of support for students with other sexual orientations from schools that have virtually no support for students or faculty within the LGBT community to schools designed specifically to be places where sexual orientation is not an issue. Differing regions of the country also have vastly differing opinions on the tolerance of sexual orientation
GSA’s GSA’s or gay straight alliances, are possibly the most well known clubs within education that help LGBT students within schools.
Issues surrounding the LGBT community within school systems Schools are working on making the school environments more accepting of students with different sexual orientations Since the development of GSA’s (gay straight alliances) within many schools the LGBT and school communities have made great improvements in making schools a comfortable place for students within the community and those who support them
The Current Issue Tensions are still high in educational settings There are still a lot of prejudices to members of the LGBT community both students and faculty within the schools.
LGBT children are coming out at younger and younger ages so while a decade ago the idea of dealing with LGBT students in High Schools was rare and it was more a Collegiate issue, more and more people are “coming out” earlier, usually “coming out” while in High School sometimes earlier. A news update currently being featured on GLSEN talks specifically about Middle School LGBT students facing more harassment within school than their high school peers.
How this issue relates to you as a future educator within the school system You as a future educator are going to have to work to make an environment that is safe and comfortable for all students (especially those within the LGBT community) Members of the LGBT community are beginning to “come out” earlier, and they need an environment that they can feel safe in.
some things to think about… Recent research that can be found at www.glsen.org has shown in a 2007 survey found that most GLBT children (86%) report being harassed in school GSA was started in 1998 to help empower GLBT youth and to fight homophobia and transphobia There are over 4,000 GSA’s in schools as of 2008
Addressing the Issue The legal aspect of the LGBT battle within education is changing rapidly and unexpectedly these days within education Two legal issues relating to the LGBT community within schools that are currently being debated and dealt with are 1.)States making laws that protect people of differing sexual orientations within the workplace 2.) Laws surrounding the issue of bullying and harassment within schools
Research on PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) has information on the two major pieces of legislation active in Congress this year: 1.) amendment to the safe and drug free schools and committees act 2.) Safe Schools (Anti-Bullying) Improvement Act
Programs Encouraging Tolerance Days of Silence No Name Calling Week Pride Week
References www.glsen.org www.pflag.org Rainbow droplet picture courtesy of flcikr creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/2828476024/ Courtroom courtesy of flickr creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/crobj/4312159033/ Clasping hands courtesy of flickr creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/giantginkgo/73408479/ Rainbow Heart “” http://www.flickr.com/photos/zen/1141064559/ Rainbow Wall courtesy of flickr creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredosan/536203650/