Saturday, July 22, 2017

Schools address gender inclusion to ensure all students can learn

Schools address gender inclusion to ensure all students can learn:

Schools address gender inclusion to ensure all students can learn

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Eleven-year-old Liz Ondoma thinks talking babout gender equality in schools is important.
The Madison, Wis., fifth-grader took part in creative projects in Michele Hatchell’s art class that allowed her to express her views on equality. Her favorite was creating her own superhero with superpowers.
“I’m both genders in my superhero,” Ondoma says. The powers she chose were foiling racism and promoting equality for girls. Because Ondoma has experienced societal expectations for how both girls and boys are supposed to look, she gave her superhero messy hair to counter those notions. Messy hair breaks all the rules in a good way, she says. For Ondoma, all aspects of equality go hand-in-hand.
“We are the future generation,” she says. “If they are teaching us about (equality), we have a better chance of preventing the not-so-good stuff that’s in the world. If they teach us now, we have a better chance of stopping all that and being better role models in the future. The sooner, the better.”
Ondoma is one of thousands of students nationwide learning about gender equality in schools.
The lessons are infused into history, literature, art and social studies for K-12 students.
Because schools are supposed to serve all children, teachers say it only makes sense that they would talk about gender equality, race, class and sexual orientation in the classroom.
If children feel they aren’t safe or aren’t being treated fairly, or if they are preoccupied with being teased or bullied, they can’t focus on their schoolwork, according to Welcoming Schools, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), which advocates for the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Teachers say if they wait to talk about these issues, it could be too late for some kids. Teens grappling with these concerns face violence, higher dropout rates and greater risk, advocates add.
Many educators and organizations supporting inclusive lessons say gender expectations limit all people.
“I remind people that (this work) lifts up all students,” says Hatchell. “When parents question it, the response is, ‘Don’t you want your child to reach their full potential Schools address gender inclusion to ensure all students can learn:

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