Post #5: Importance and Action

In this blog post, I wanted to dive into the importance of my idea and action I can take in my community, as well as around Vermont. In my mind map, I put under importance “Students have the right to have the proper resources and feel safe and accepted at school,”. To me that means when a student is at school they are getting the resources they need, whether that be the ability to use the bathroom they feel comfortable, an adult they feel safe talking to, or other resources outside the school. Also, when a student is at school they have the right to not be bullied or harassed based on their sexuality or gender, they have the right to feel safe when they walk down the halls and when they’re in a classroom. No student should be treated differently based on their sexuality or gender, it impedes on their education and their life. Under action on my mind map, I put “Talking to teachers and students, Educating teachers, Helping students get the resources they need, Bringing general awareness to others about issues facing LGBTQ community,”. My main idea was to talk to people, both staff and students, and understand first hand how students are being treated and how school staff is dealing with it. I understand that teachers can’t help if they don’t understand, therefore I want to also get a sense of their knowledge so I can help gather resources for teachers. My main plan was to build a website specifically for teachers that have information, names of organizations, and other resources that they might find helpful and informing. Organizations like Outright Vermont and Glad have tons of resources for parents/adults and kids. Although I can’t say for certain what resources they might need, basic vocabulary, LGBTQ sex ed(for health teachers specifically) and DOE policies may be beneficial. I wanted to talk to teachers about how they can support students and make sure they have the resources they need after I understand what resources both teachers and students need. My hope is that in the future schools might start teaching their teachers and staff about the LGBTQ community so they can better their school and their student’s experiences at school. Also, once I created a documentary I may be able to use it as a resource for teachers and students, depending on what route my documentary takes. I hope to better understand what  students need by asking them questions such as “how have you school supported or not supported you?”, “in your mind, is your school a safe space?”, “what do you wish your teachers would do to support you better?”, and so on. For teachers, I would ask similar questions, such as “how do you feel you do and can support LGBTQ students?”, “does your school have good policies set in place to protect LGBTQ students?”, “do you feel knowledgeable enough about the LGBTQ community to support your students and better your school’s environment?”, “what resources do you need to be able to support LGBTQ students?”. 

Grace Darrow

3 Responses to “Post #5: Importance and Action

  • Dianne Baroz
    4 years ago

    Grace,
    You are making great progress. The creation of a website will be a great tool for teachers to gather important information all in one place. And, you also have some sample questions for both students and teachers. You already know about organizations that have resources available, so might you investigate about what more you can add that these non-profits don’t already have in place? What will your project contribute?
    Best,
    Dianne

  • Hi Grace,

    Nice job in exploring some of the questions you are thinking of asking students and teachers. I especially appreciate how you thought of bathrooms and sex ed as places where LGBTQ+ support/resources are specifically needed. Are there other aspects of school that are particularly challenging for LGBTQ+ students? Sports teams, school dances, and dress codes are some other things that I imagine may be difficult for LGBTQ+ youth to navigate.

    Something I noticed about your questions: You have some great open-ended ones (What do you wish your teachers would do to support you better?), but others are phrased in a way that prompts a “yes” or “no” reply. Generally, the best “meaty” replies come when asked an open question. Just something to keep in mind as you move forward into interviews.

    I wonder how the recent law change proposed by Trump (limiting gender to biological sex at birth) may impact your topic. How can schools/teachers support trans youth if the federal government does not afford them recognition?

    Looking forward to seeing you at the retreat this weekend!

    • Fallon,
      That’s a great piece to think about and I’d love to explore that. Maybe students need more support with sports teams than they do with bathrooms and locker rooms, that’s what I want to find out. That’s something I was thinking about, how can we support LGBTQ students if our government doesn’t. It all comes down to how openminded the school is and how willing they are to support LGBTQ students, maybe that’s where awareness comes in the most. If Trump were to change that law, I may not be able to take action in schools, but instead, I might just have to focus on bringing awareness and relying on teachers to take action in their own schools.
      Thank you so much!

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