Martie Sirois, I don’t think the safe classroom point can be emphasized too much.

One thing I’ve learned in my own research about LGBTQ school issues runs parallel to the point you make.

Did you know that schools that start GSA clubs for LGBTQ students and friends consistently report a decrease in the incidence of bullying across the board for all students?

It seems that emphasizing tolerance and respect for difference makes a big impression on kids. That seems to be why bullying rates go down.

And I think that works with your point also. Having a teacher demonstrating respect and tolerance is a big deal. It helps the entire class and student body learn healthy interaction, by seeing it in action.

I think sadly the reverse could also be true. If a teacher is reluctant to accept a transgender student, that teacher could be modeling bad behavior to students that when emulated would become likely to elevate into bullying behavior.

Something for all teachers to think about, no matter what their private views on transgender people.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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