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My children are away from home now and do treat gay and lesbian people as just that -- people -- we are called to be tolerant of each other.
There is intolerance among teenagers, definitely. The teacher that I know try very hard to be tolerant of all the students.
Hetrosexual teachers cannot truly answer this. You need to ask the LGBT pupils for the full answer. Even at the most involved schools, a lot goes on that teachers never know about.
The most common age for a lesbian, gay or transgender young person to become aware of their sexual identity is 12, while they are most vulnerable to self-harm at the age of 16, a new guide issued to schools today shows.
The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students in Post-Primary Schools - Guidance for Principals and School Leaders paper was published by the Minister for Lifelong Learning Seán Haughey. It was compiled by the Department of Education and GLEN (the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network).
10 Things you should know and 5 things schools can do:
It is our job to challenge kid's beliefs because it is our job as educators to teach them to think. (I know we forgot about that during the Bush years when the job was to teach bubbling skills). It can be done subtally such as assigning a controversial book that challenges conservative political beliefs to a class in a conservative area or by teaching them to contrast and compare such as the stance of a right wing religious group on homosexuality vs that of a gay newspaper or gay positive evangelical church wuch as Metropolitan Community Church.
I was once individually teaching a health impaired high schooler because he was absent too much to keep up in class. I assigned him Cong. John Lewis's book Walking With the Wind for both American History and English specifically because he was a Republican and I wanted him to understand the Civil Rights Era from someone who lived it.
Our job is to educate and challenge so that the children can use those reading and writing skills we taught them so well. College prep students, in particular, are going to have classes with people that don't think like they do. I ran into that my freshman year. If they are unprepared, they are not going to be ready to defend what they believe or show what they know. We don't want them to become values voters if they don't know why they have their values. We want them to think in spite of the Republicans.
I teach in a private school. The students who are gay or bisexual are accepted by students and staff. There are no issues involving bullying based on sexual orientation here. The biggest issues we have are "who is dating who" this week, and it has nothing to do with being gay or straight, but more with teenage dating drama. We teach tolerance and acceptance. In fact, some of the most accepted students on our campus are our transgender students.
We have many LGBT students at our school and there has not been an incident in the 3 years+ that I have been here.
There weren't any incidents at the last school I worked at either.
As a matter of fact, I am not aware of any such incidents in my 15 years in this metro district, at least not in the high schools.
I had no idea as to how to vote.
I am not a teacher, but I have two relatives that have been teaching over 30 years. I am a 40 year old divorced mother of two boys. Ages 10 and 14. The expression "that is so gay" is said a lot in this household. So I asked my boys if they knew what the definition of the word gay. They looked at me like I was crazy. I have been very involved in their school since kindergarten. I have seen teachers show the same attitude as the children. I have seen where a teacher prefers little girls, or white children, or pretty children, etc. Teachers are beginning so young and have a very big job. To me, one of the most important. So what do we do if they get negative information at home, and then at school? I am enrolled in a program to get my Masters Degree in Psychology at the ripe age of 40. My children are confused that their Mom is going to college, and their Father has done the exact same thing that you are talking about. I was never allowed to work in my sixteen years of marriage. I was to stay home and take care of the house and the children. Only men are intelligent enough to work, and make money. I'm so scared my children are going to believe everything their Father says and I just wanted to give you a different kind response since I am not a teacher. Erin
As a high school teacher, I struggle to teach my students that the expression "That's so gay" is offensive. Over the summer I made a short video to try using a multimedia approach to address the problem. It combines music, photos from the civil rights era and the Prop. 8 protests in Calif., and two PSA ads with Hillary Duff and Wanda Sykes that were made by GLSEN and the Ad Council.
I'd like to share it in case other teachers/students find it helpful, especially as a new school year begins:
They leave hurtful messages on MySpace, Facebook and sometimes even in person. If they are not accepted in their own peer groups, how can we expect society as a whole to accept them? Something has to change, these kids are already aware of the tough times they might face after high school. What do they have to look forward to?