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New Guide On Supporting Transgender Students In K-12 Environments
Aug 5th, 2015 by

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and itsWelcoming Schools project are proud to be a part of the team that created Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, a resource that will provide educators with guidance for supporting transgender students.

The guide, led by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Gender Spectrum, and co-produced with the National Education Association (NEA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, will help school administrators, teachers, parents, caregivers and other community members understand the needs of transgender youth and the best ways to support them.

…… read more

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Some parents with students at Old Town Elementary received a letter that said there is a second grade student in the school that is transgender.
Sep 8th, 2014 by

OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Some parents with students at Old Town Elementary received a letter that said there is a second grade student in the school that is transgender. The school district mailed the letter to parents at the start of the new school year. It went to parents who have children in the same learning community as the transgender student, which is made up of about 120 kids from different grades. The letter says the student “may be familiar to your children as a boy, but will now be recognized as a girl.” It goes on to say that the student has identified as a girl for quite some time and will now be using a new name and dressing in a more feminine manner. The student will also be using the girls’ bathroom, according to the letter. It also acknowledges that this is a new situation for many people, including staff members. NEWS CENTER has attached the entire letter to this story. The school was not legally obligated to send the letter, but the RSU34 Superintendent David Walker said it chose to. Legally, under the Maine Human Rights Act, the school is required to treat all students equally. Walker said the child’s family met with the school over the summer to develop a plan. The school drafted the letter, then the family and the superintendent reviewed and approved it. Old Town Elementary wanted parents to hear the information from the school first, and not from their children, according to Walker. There are several organizations in Maine that provide resources for people struggling with gender identity, advocate for transgender equality, and work to educate the community. Here are a few links to learn more:

http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2014/09/04/school-sends-letter-to-parents-about-transgender-student/15098829/ The letter that the school wrote is here… http://archive.wcsh6.com/assetpool/documents/140904073029_Transgender%20Student.pdf

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Lesson 2: Gender role stereotyping in education
Jul 15th, 2013 by

Source: http://www.hrschool.org/doc/mainfile.php/lesson12/106/

 

Lesson 2: Gender role stereotyping in education

Access to education alone is not sufficient to fulfill girls’ human right to education.

Girls and women also may face discrimination in the education system.

For example:

  • schools, special programmes and training programmes open only to boys and men;
  • higher paid, higher status teaching positions open only to male educators;
  • testing methods biased in favour of boys (e.g., questions that reflect the interests and vocabulary of most boys).

In most parts of the world, female teachers predominate at the primary level, yet women are generally underrepresented in higher status, decision-making posts in education. especially at universi�ties. Not only do female students need positive role models, but female teachers may also be better able to address the needs of female students.

School programmes can be one of the primary vehicles for reinforcing gender role stereotyping, the expected roles of men and women that society imposes from infancy onward. School books often portray boys as big, brave, active, adventurous and clever people who take action as leaders, explorers and inventors; girls, on the other hand, are small, modest, sensitive, cautious and beautiful, playing traditional reproductive and care-giving roles The stereotypes of boys in some countries encourage boys to study the sciences, while the stereotypes of girls make them fearful of subjects, like math and science, that they perceive as being too difficult for them, thus reinforcing girls’ sense of inadequacy.

However, properly designed school programmes could reverse the sex-role stereotyping and combat discrimination against girls and women. The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action explicitly recognizes the importance of combating gender role stereotyping:

“The creation of an educational and social environ�ment…where educational resources promote non-stereotyped images of women and men would be effective in the elimination of the causes of discrimination against women and inequalities between women and men” (Beijing Platform forAction. ch. 4, B.69). But many teachers are not themselves conscious of the discrimination that women as a group face, and because they do not perceive it they are not able to challenge damaging stereotypes in educational material, career options available to girls, and school environments that may discriminate.

From early childhood girls are socialized to accept the ideology of male supremacy that makes them prey to a range of discriminatory practices. Thus women and girls are not only ill-equipped to identify or confront the injustices to which they are subjected, but lacking any alternative models of behaviour, they actually reinforce and pass on to their children cultural values that are harmful to women. For this reason women need powerful social, cultural and economic support to develop a sense of self-worth and encouragement to transmit this sense of women’s value to the succeeding generation. Exercise ll: Gender role stereotyping Objective: To examine gender mle stereotyping in education and the community Time: 45 minutes Materials: Sample textbooks

I. Role- Play:

Read aloud the following scenario:

You have a small daughter who is just beginning to learn how to read in school. When you are helping her with her school work you notice that her book is about a boy and his sister. One story tells about the boy’s hike in the mountains and his discovery of a secret treasure. The next tells about the girl’s trip to her grandmother’s house in the village where she learns how to cook.

Ask the participants to do the following.

  • Discuss what this story tells us about male and female behaviour.
  • Role-play how they would discuss these stories with their daughters.
  • Role-play how they would discuss these stories with the teacher or school principal.

2. Discuss:

Ask participants to remember some of their elementary school teachers, texts and activities. What ideas about gender roles did they reflect?

3. Analyze:

In advance, obtain or ask women to bring in sample textbooks used in local schools.

Ask the participants to review them and answer these questions:

  • Identify the male and female roles depicted in the textbooks. Could they be changed to present more choices for male and female behaviour? If so, how?
  • Count the number of pictures of males and females in any section. Compare the ways male and females are depicted.
  • If one of the books is an anthology of stories or poems, compare the number of male and female authors. The number of male or female protagonists.
  • Especially note the math and science texts. Are girls pictured at all? Are they actively engaged or watching boys perform experiments or manipulate equipment? Note the word problems: Does the subject matter include material familiar to girls as well as boys?

4. Discuss:

Ask these questions about gender stereotyping:

  • Were you aware of stereotyping in textbooks when you were at school?
  • How can education be used to combat gender role stereotyping?
  • What can women do to make these changes at both the local and national levels?
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Love is All You Need? full length movie
Apr 28th, 2013 by

All You Need Is Love? highlights a teen living in a world that exists in opposition to the one we live in now.

In this short, the terms “gay” and “straight” and the conceptions and cultural stigmas attached to them are completely reversed. What makes this video so powerful is its inclusion of family and community, showing that intolerance can fester in any number of places. Honest performances and a beautiful message, this short film is one not to miss.

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Assistance in helping better serve gender non-conforming students
Feb 22nd, 2013 by

Since the passage of PA 11-55 I have been receiving a number of calls for assistance in helping better serve gender non-conforming students. Although I am happy to help I want to refer you also to a local resource that has a great deal of expertise in working with transgender students.

 

Robin McHaelen

Executive Director

True Colors, Inc.

30 Arbor Street, Suite 201A
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 232-0050, ext. 302

Email: director@ourtruecolors.org

 

Robin just came back from out of state where she provided training to an entire school district. Her non-profit agency also runs a highly popular conference. Details as follows.

 

The 20th annual True Colors conference will be held on Thursday, March 21- Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the University of CT in Storrs.  This conference offers country’s largest and most comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth/young adult selection of workshops and activities for youth, as well as their teachers and educators.

 

Up to 15.5 hours of continuing education are available for Educators, Social Workers, MFT’s, Nurses, and other mental health professionals. Thursday, a Professional Best Practices Institute, begins with Dr. Caitlyn Ryan whose keynote will focus on supporting ethnically and religiously diverse families as their children come out.

 

Throughout the conference, participants can choose among more than 180 workshops that explore LGBT youth and young adult experiences in mental health, education, juvenile justice and within health care settings. In particular, there are a number of workshops specifically focused on the needs of gender non-conforming and transgender children and adolescents.  For more information or to register, please see www.ourtruecolors.org or call (860) 232-0050, ext. 301.

True Colors works to create a world where youth, adults and families of all sexual orientations and gender identities are valued and affirmed. We challenge all forms of oppression through education, training, advocacy, youth leadership development, mentoring and direct services to youth and those responsible for their well-being. We can be reached at 888-565-5551, or on the web at www.ourTrueColors.org <http://www.ourtruecolors.org/>

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