Educators at Boulder’s New Vista High School and are faced with a question that feels vague and idealistic: how can schools make it better now for queer students.
“As a queer educator, I’m trying to be the teacher I needed as a middle and high school student,” Chris Segal told Daily Camera. “I want to know more about what I can do in my own classroom.”
The two-day conference by Institute on LGBTQ-Inclusive Educational Practices is gathering more than 150 educators from school districts around Colorado. As they engage in interactive sessions, the question remains, what happens when “it gets better” is not good enough?
“The world is really difficult for trans adults,” an educator who identifies as trans said. “It’s hard to tell them it gets better for the ‘T’ in the acronym,” Daily Camera reported
A Queer Endeavor, University of Colorado’s initiative which is hosting the second annual event, is working with administrators and educators to create safer schools for LGBTQ youth while breaking down the barriers of communication around topics of gender and sexual diversity in education.
As Denver Public Schools showed up at last weekend’s Denver PrideFest, they marched in the parade and had a booth at the festival, openly gay principal Christian Sawyer said that they are currently looking at how to improve policy, instruction, and culture within their schools.
“I want every student in our school to feel loved, accepted, and safe,” said Sawyer.
While many faculty report experiencing push-back or a lack of acceptance around internal shifts and changes to curriculum and inclusivity practices, representation and acceptance continues to be the driving force that will ultimately give hope to those queer youth who need it.