10 Ways to Embrace Gay Parents in the Elementary School
10 Ways to Embrace Gay Parents in the Elementary Schoolhttp://drpfconsults.com/10- ways- to- embrace- gay- parents- in- the- elementary- school/ April 9, 2013Dr. Patricia FiorielloDifferent family dynamics are one of the most controversial hot topics in education today.It is becoming more common for students to come from a variety of different backgrounds andupbringing. Many students come from divorced homes, or are raised by guardians that are not theirbiological parents. Recently there are more students that come from a family with gay parents.Whichever the situation may be, all students and parents should feel welcome at the school and inthe school’s community.Here are 10 ways to embrace gay parents in the elementary school.1) Schools should have posters around the schoolthat demonstrate hot topics in education anddiversity in families, especially of two parents of thesame sex. Post ers around t he school can show thevariety of families, allowing students to becomefamiliar with diverse family situations. In elementaryschool, it is beneficial for students to be familiarizedwith different family backgrounds, in order to instillacceptance of others.2) Schools must maintain a saf e environment thatdoes not permit crude or offensive language basedon sexual orientation. Any harassment based onsexual orientation will not be tolerated at the school.Parents should be made aware that the school willnot tolerate such behavior from students. Hot topicsin education include the current rise in bullying amongstudents; the elementary school should take action ifthere are any reports of bullying occurring. Bullyingcan have detrimental effects on a student and theirschoolwork. Parents should feel confident that theirchild will have a positive school experience, and willnot be subjected to bullying among their peers.3) Gay parents should always feel welcome in joining school event s, and be free to chaperone orvolunteer at school activities. They should always feel welcome to join PTA meetings, and givetheir opinion on school matters, as well as hot topics in education affecting the school. All parentsshould feel free to give their opinion, in regards to the school and their child’s curriculum. Sexualorientation does not play a part in the parents’ involvement with the school; gay parents will havethe right to participate in any school activity. Gay parents must feel safe in the school, and feelfree of judgment in the education community.4) All teachers will be accepting of the students’ backgrounds and willing to educat e t he classabout dif f erent t ypes of f amilies. A hot education topic with teachers will be teaching studentsabout different family situations. This will educate the classroom about sexual orientation andsexual identity and make it not such a foreign idea to the young students. This curriculum should
be taught along with explaining other family dynamics, such as parents who are divorced andparents of different races. Students will be educated and taught to be understanding of the factthat their peers come from many different backgrounds.5) Students of gay parents should feel comfortable illust rat ing t heir f amily t ree. Teachersshould accept the illustration openly, and not force questioning, or make the student feeluncomfortable. Hot topics in education have been how to display the family situation, and familytrees are a terrific way for students to see different illustrations of all kinds of families.6) School f orms need t o be updat ed to the term “Guardian”; this is a modern approach that isconsiderate towards gay parents, since the typical form with just “Mother” or “Father” is outdatedand not modernized for gay parents.7) All guidelines established by the school should consider gay parents. It is time for schools tomodernize t heir guidelines and to consider all varieties of family dynamics.8) Schools will not permit abuse or harassment from other parents to gay parents. If there isinformation demonstrating that there was harassment, then action must be taken by the school.Parent s will need t o sign guidelines, which state they will not subject harassment onto otherfamilies in the school system.9) Guidance counselors and faculty need to be made aware of the student’s situation, in order tobe ready for possible harassment and bullying by other students. Gay parents should feel free tocontact faculty, in regards to harassment, and faculty should communicate with gay parents if abullying issue arises. Parents should feel the ability to communicat e wit h t he school concerningany issue.10) Schools can have the students put on a perf ormance t hat embraces dif f erent f amilysit uat ions, including gay families. All parents should be welcome to this performance thatdemonstrates these different families. This performance will not only educate the students aboutdiversity but also the parents. The performance will show parents how the school and studentsaddress hot topics in education including diversity issues, which the students have been learning.These are just a few ways for schools to have gay parents feel welcome and accepted in theschool community. Acceptance of all backgrounds will be one of the hot topics in education forstudents. The school should make an effort for gay parents to feel confident that their child will beaccepted and in a safe environment. The school is responsible for embracing the student’sbackground and not make them critical of their home environment. Since family dynamics willcontinue to be hot topics in education for a while, it is essential for schools to be prepared forstudents from a variety of different backgrounds.Read about another growing issue in schools – How to Support Transgender Children in SchoolDr. Patricia Fioriello is the founder of DRPFConsults.com - place to discover the latesthot topics in education and best ways to address current education issues. DRPFConsults designs school eBooks covering the most critical topics about educationproblems in todays schools.