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Gender and Sexuality Midterm project

Gender and Sexuality Midterm project

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  • 1. By: Kelly Laurila
  • 2.  Discourse:Verbal expression in speech or writing that allows for conversation It’s important for our students in all other aspects, including this one!
  • 3. Here’s the Facts
  • 4.  “Around 10% of the population is gay.” Too often, educators do not protect students who are gay and indirectly encourage negative attitudes from both students and educators (Peterson and Hittie, 2010)
  • 5.  Bullying and Gay Youth –Mental Health America 2012  Teenagers are facing the challenge of identifying as a gay or lesbian in their community with harassment, threats and violence  Interesting Fact: Teenagers hear anti-gay words such as “homo,” “faggot” and “sissy” 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes  31% of gay youth have been threatened or injured in schools in 2011 (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 6.  Gay and lesiban youth are more apt to skip school because of the fear and threats that are directed at them within the school setting  “22% of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe.”  “28% of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than three times the average for heterosexual students.” (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 7.  When students feel unsafe or not included in the classroom community, they can shut down and become unable to focus in the classroom Students are often ashamed or embarrassed about the situation that they are in that they are afraid to seek help or confide in someone who can provide them with resources (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 8.  Teens who are being bullied in schools because of their sexuality, gender, etc. are at high risk because “their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them” These youth are 2-3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 9.  Ifstudents feel alienated because they identify with the lesbian and gay community, they will not feel like they are in a safe environment which could impact their learning
  • 10. If the students themselves do not identify as gay or lesbian
  • 11.  Ifstudents have family members in the lesbian and gay community, they need to feel comfortable and safe with sharing their family experiences with the classes
  • 12.  What about students in our classrooms who have two moms? Or two dads?  In second grade, when a student is drawing who is in her family and is expected to present it to the class, can she feel comfortable talking about her family? Can she answer questions from students about her two moms or two dads?
  • 13. Schools in Boulder Valley School District
  • 14.  BVSD is overall, a very accepting and diverse district that welcomes students from all kinds of different backgrounds BVSD also makes a point to include families in school activities and classrooms
  • 15.  Maddy (pseudonym for the teacher interviewed) is a teacher at an elementary school in Boulder I interviewed Maddy about the idea of differentiation and inclusion in the classroom Maddy said that students are encouraged to bring their own experiences and backgrounds into the classroom to share
  • 16.  “We talk about different kinds of families. We have had students with two mommies or two daddies, and students who are adopted. In this school, we make these situations teaching opportunities. We talk about how families come in different shapes and sizes. We welcome everyone to share and say that there is simply no right family.”
  • 17. Iasked Maddy about the school district and the school specifically when addressing gay/lesbian parents  “We will never shut a student down if they want to share their experiences with the class. We also welcome questions and answer them the best we can. Our students are taught to respect everyone, including their stories of who they are.”
  • 18. Iasked Maddy if students have ever been shocked or concerned about a family that has two mommies or two daddies.  “No they were not. They were very accepting, because that is the culture that the school has created.”
  • 19. Schools located elsewhere such as Brighton and Denver
  • 20. I have observed schools in both Brighton and Denver I got the impression that students are asked to stay on topic with their academic work If a debatable topic comes up in the classroom, it is acknowledged but then not talked about
  • 21.  The class was asked to draw a picture and write a story about something they would like to change in the world  One student wrote about how he wishes there were no drugs anymore because his family “does drugs too much.” During share out time, his piece was acknowledged with a head nod, but not talked about with the rest of the class. The teacher quickly moved on to a story written by another classmate.
  • 22.  During my observation at these schools, the topic of sexuality never came up Discourse in the classroom revolved primarily around academic work Students did not bring in their own experiences or share their thinking as much as Boulder Valley School District schools
  • 23. What can happen if this discourse is not welcome in our schools?
  • 24.  Childrenof Gay Parents Bullied: Would you Intervene?  Zach Wahls was raised by 2 mothers  An experiment was conducted to see how bystanders would react if they saw children being bullied for having gay parents  Strangers stood up for the bully victims in light of growing awareness of the consequences of bullying  A number of teens have committed suicide due to bullying  States are beginning to pass anti-bullying laws (Zepeda, 2012)
  • 25.  Teen’sparents: After suicide, he’ll still be bullied  A teenage boy committed suicide for being harassed for being gay  After his death at a school dance, his bullies began changing, “You’re better off dead, we’re glad you’re dead.”  The It Gets Better Project aims at supporting gay and lesbian youth who are targets of harassment  Message: GET YOUR KIDS TO TALK! Don’t let them be silenced by the bullying. (Stump, 2011)
  • 26.  This bullying primarily happens in schools, in the education environment Teachers are in every classroom in schools We need to know our students on a personal level and allow them to confide in us We have to show them that we care BE ADVOCATES FOR YOU STUDENTS
  • 27. What is being done
  • 28.  Schooldistricts are making efforts to change this oppressive treatment through four different strategies: 1. Support services for gay and lesbian students including counseling, student organizations and policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination 2. Discussion of homosexuality and damaging impacts of prejudice in sex education programs (Peterson and Hittie, 2010)
  • 29. 3. Staff development training4. Inclusion of gay and lesbian issues and information in their curriculum (Peterson and Hittie, 2010)
  • 30.  Gayand lesbian youth are often unsure of who to turn to, and often feel like there is no one who they can trust or feel comfortable with.  “Four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.” (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 31. As an educator in our schools with our kids
  • 32.  We need to offer a safe and respectful learning environment for everyone. This ties into the idea of inclusive education: a safe and engaging learning environment for all We need to face the problem instead of looking the other way and contributing to the problem
  • 33.  “Kids who say that they had a supportive faculty or openly gay staff member were likely to feel as if they belong in their school.” (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 34.  Inclusiveeducation means inclusion of ALL students in the classroom As educators, we need to value the ideas, background, experiences, culture, etc. of every person in the classroom and let that influence our classroom environment
  • 35.  We also need to be cognizant of the families our students come from
  • 36.  We need to create a safe environment in our classrooms and in our schools where all students feel welcome to express their opinions and be open about their own identity and how it has influenced their development
  • 37.  Be alert (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 38. Here’s a few solutions
  • 39.  Work with students to have problems against bullying, to implement programs that offer a safe space for LGBTQ youth, etc. (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 40.  Askschool personnel to allow discussion within the classroom or within an after school space to talk about gay prejudice (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 41.  Help start a Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network chapter at you school (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 42.  Arrangepresentations about bullying prevention activities and programs (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 43.  Encourage students to confide in teachers, coaches, counselors, or their parents/guardians for help (Mental Health America, 2012)
  • 44.  Make your classroom a safe environment where students know how to respect each other
  • 45.  Ensurefor a collaborative environment in your classroom
  • 46. There is a curriculum out there
  • 47.  Rainbow schools allows students the opportunity to engage in discovery and exploration in the school environment This curriculum focuses on the student and allowing them more choice in the classroom for experimental learning (Rainbow Schools, 2004)
  • 48.  Designed to help the child in 4 ways:  Socially-by providing experiences to help each child learn to share  Emotionally-by helping each child to recognize and express feelings in acceptable ways  Physically-by encouraging children to develop large and small muscle strength and coordination  Intellectually-by providing creative learning opportunities to develop reasoning skills (Rainbow Schools, 2004)
  • 49. All in all,
  • 50.  Peterson, M., & Hittie, M. (2010). Inclusive teaching the journey towards effective schools for all leaners. (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education. Mental Health America. (2012). Bullying and gay youth. Retrieved from http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=CA866DCF-1372-4D20- C8EB26EEB30B9982 Zepeda, R. (2012, March 28). Children of gay parents bullied: would you intervene?. ABC news . Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/03/children-of-gay- parents-bullied-would-you-intervene/ Stump, S. (2011, September 27). Teens parents: after suicide, hes still being bullied. Today news . Retrieved from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44684938/ns/today-today_news/t/teens- parents-after-suicide-hes-still-being-bullied/ Rainbow Schools. (2004). Rainbow schools curriculum info. Retrieved from http://www.rainbowschools.com/curriculum.html
  • 51.  http://blog.simplek12.com/education/a-fun-way-to-get-your-students-talking/ http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/2011/10/tennessee-principal-bullies-student-for.html http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2010/10/07/abc-links-teen-bullying-wedge-issues- gay-marriage http://www.therainbowbabies.com/ParentingTips.html http://www.sonomacountygazette.com/cms/pages/sonoma-county-news-article-296.html http://akenyangirl.com/2012/10/you-cant-demand-respect-without-change/ http://www.ooph.com/table-talk/table-talk-the-oscars/ http://www.ibe.unesco.org/ http://www.sdcity.edu/CollegeServices/StudentSupportResources/Counseling/OnlineCounseling/F AQ.aspx http://www.mysafetysign.com/Safety-Signs/Restricted-Expect-Unexpected-Sign/SAF-SKU-S- 4107.aspx http://gsaday.org/info/gay-straight-alliance-history/ http://edudemic.com/2011/09/collaboration-matters/ http://www.facebook.com/rainbowschools http://clc2.uniservity.com/GroupHomepage.asp?GroupID=541054