Post submitted by Harry Hawkins, Field Organizer HRC Mississippi
Recently, HRC Mississippi spoke to a group of teachers from Teach for America (TFA).
The event was a full day competency training held at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, for TFA, which is a national non-profit placing recent college graduates in under-resourced urban and rural public schools.
Since HRC and Teach for America have a formal partnership, I was able to introduce their members to our Welcoming Schools program and best practices for working with LGBTQ students.
One of the most powerful moments of my day was having conversations with the teachers about how they are working with LGBT students everyday. I hope that our conversations will have a positive impact on these teachers, their students and their communities.
LGBTQ students continue to face challenges, especially at school. HRC’s groundbreaking report, Growing Up LGBT in America, found that LGBTQ youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. Twenty-one percent of LGBTQ youth identified school/bullying as the most important problem facing them right now. Shockingly, 92 percent of LGBTQ youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT. The top sources are school and their peers.
Mississippi’s children are our future and I’m glad to know that there are teachers in our state celebrating and embracing diversity and inclusion.
Being supported at home, in school and in the community is important for all children and youth – especially LGBTQ youth. From creating an inclusive learning environment for students – whether a student is in the process of transitioning or she has two moms – to understanding the challenges and resiliency of LGBTQ youth, HRC provides a wealth of resources for supporting LGBTQ youth. To learn more about how you can support LGBTQ youth, click here.