Saturday, October 3, 2015

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces
Making Schools and Communities 
  Welcoming to the LGBT Youth
By Gerry August



    In Gerry Augusts book Safe Spaces he talks about what LGBT students have to deal with daily in our school systems. Gerry concedes that our teachers should not only be accepting of LGBT students but teachers should also be advocates for LGBT students. By advocating for LGBT students to be incorporated into the classroom several key American crisis could be nearly eliminated. 
     Nearly 40% of Americas homeless population is composed of LGBT people. The large majority of them are homeless simply because they were rejected by society. Many families do not accept their children once they have come out and after these people are rejected many of them don't have anywhere they can go. My feeling is that if we were able to make these students feel accepted and incorporate gay history and literature into the classroom as well as have open discussions about homosexuality, the majority of  students who aren't homosexuals would feel more comfortable with the idea of homosexuality. 
    "Heterosexual students who have no LGBT friends or family also need positive LGBT representations if they are to have a full understanding of the human experience. And yet,  when asked if they were taught about LGBT people or history, less than 12% of LGBT students replied in the affirmative" 
                                                                                                                 -August
    By introducing children to the reality that there are homosexuals in the world and that they are no different from heterosexuals in any way other than their sexual preference we could drastically reduce bullying. With a reduction in bullying the result could be a major drop off in youth suicide. As we are all aware, youth bullying, suicide, and homelessness are all prominent issues in our country right now.

    This week while doing my service learning at Alan Shaun Fienstien Elementary School in Providence Rhode Island, I took the time to look through the book shelf in my 5th grade class room. I was curious to see what the kids are reading these days and I was pleased to see that in a predominantly black school there was a plethora of books about black history and even some Latino history books. What August states is that along with those books about race there should also be books telling the history of LGBT. He states...
    "More than 12% of Seans bookshelf should be devoted to Latino experiences, more than 4% of African American experiences, and more than 10% to LGBT experiences. Imagine Seans Bookshelves bursting with books that chronicle the range of human experience- both mainstream and marginalized youth would benefit."                                                         -August
    August would probably say that this school is doing fairly well when it comes to catering to the average student in terms of reading materials for all races. However, August would be very disappointed in the fact that there still isn't any child friendly written material for the youth in that class room. By todays standards, chances are that in that class room right now, whether the children know it yet or not, there is at least one LGBT child present. That childs life would be much easier going forward if there were even just one book on the shelf just for them.

7 comments:

  1. I love how you made the connection from your classroom back to what we read! it was a very great connection. I really enjoyed reading your blog!

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  2. Great connections to your classroom! Your chart adds to the importance of Dr. August's book! And btw, Dr. August is actually a women- and she was our sub when Dr. Bogad was out! (:

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  3. I really enjoyed the Stats! really brought the whole text alive for me !

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  4. Hi Jeff, I really enjoyed the video, added a lot to your post.

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  5. Great quotes Jeff! They really encapsulated the point was August was trying to make in her article!

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  6. Love the statistics! It really puts into perspective what happens after high school for some of these kids.

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  7. Your past to present was great to share

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