The purpose of this page is to solicit comments from teachers, counselors, other staff, parents, and students, on ways to support LGBT youth, both in and out of the classroom.
I’ll start with some of my thoughts. I begin the year with my anti-harassment talk, including race, gender, national origin, physical appearance, class, etc., but also not glossing over sexual orientation and gender identity; I talk about how we need to avoid harassment based on these characteristics in my class, and in general. I know these terms are included in the SR&R for secondary students, I don’t know about elementary, it’s worth looking into before someone steps out on a limb in class.
If kids ask the first day if I’m gay, I tell them to hold the question for two weeks. After they’ve learned the routine of my class, I’m happy to talk about my sexual orientation (I teach high school). The new FLE objectives define sexual orientation and gender identity in the 7th grade, though that won’t be incorporated into the lessons until 2016.
Certainly I stop any harassment, calmly and keeping all students’ feelings in mind.
We should ask administrators and central office what they think of teachers coming out and being out at different ages.
Regardless, I protect students’ rights to express their views, even if they are unpopular, even if I disagree with them, so long as there is no hate speech or harassment.
I suspect our leaders would prefer we restricted such discussions to non-instructions time, such as between classes, lunch, or after school.
I find students are more likely to come out to some of my allied colleagues than to me; I’ not sure why.
Comments and thoughts?