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Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools

by Western Justice Center
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools
Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools

Our Stop Homophobic Bullying program is going strong thanks to our supporters. In October we did a demonstration of the program at Models of Pride on the campus of Cal State LA. It proved to be a very popular session with so many attending that we ran out of seats. The feedback was incredible and we were able to connect with many teachers, parents and administrators who are interested in bringing this program to their schools.

We also had a great Giving Tuesday campaign with hundreds of donors and a lot of people helping to spread the word. Some celebrities who believe in the power of the program joined in by posting #unselfies on their social media.

Our program was also very proud to be selected by Tie The Knot to kick-off their annual end of year #GiveOut campaign by giving us a donation and promoting our work on their site tietheknot.org. 

Our current class of student performers are seep in rehearsals as we prepare for upcoming trainings. We look forward to making a lasting impact on teachers and their classrooms and helping make all students safer and more included. Thank you for supporting this important work.

We started the 2018/2019 school year strong. Our team did multiple trainings in mid August for educators in Southern California schools. The response was incredible and the impact of having every teacher at a school trained with our Stop Homophobic Bullying project is exciting to imagine. We have already been booked to do more trainings in the same district in January. And a principal who attended the training has already begun the process to bring us to their Middle School next August.

"It was exciting to see so much committment to this issue from Administration, Faculty and Staff." 

The teachers who attended the trainings not only got to practice strategies on handling homophobic bullying in a classroom simulation, but they also got to hear directly from a panel of young people who are either a part of or directly connected to the LGBT communitty. The panelists shared their true experiences of when a teacher made them feel more safe in school, when a teacher made them feel less safe in school, and offered the teachers one suggestion of something they could do in their classrooms to make LGBT students more safe and included.

Thank you for supporting this very important work.

Training the educators at Santa Barbara Unified
Training the educators at Santa Barbara Unified

It's summer break, but we're not slowing down. We're taking this opportunity to reach more educators to present our Stop Homophobic Bullying training.

We had a rare opportunity to bring the training out of town to Santa Barbara as a part of the SBUSD Professional Development Week. We brought our actors on a road trip in order to reach 35 educators.

"I wish we just had more time with this. This is so different and engaging!"

We also stayed close to home for two trainings in our office. Every year, we host two free week-long trainings for educators on conflict resolution. We were able to present two afternoons of trainings to educators from across the greater Los Angeles area within these ABCs of Conflict trainings. We got great feedback from both groups including interest in bringing the training to their schools.

We're looking forward to ramping up for the start of the new school year and bringing Creating Bias Free Classrooms to more educators throughout Southern California.

Training at ABCs of Conflict
Training at ABCs of Conflict

We are prepping and excited for our upcoming Stop Homophobic Bullying training. For the first time, this training will have open registration for any educators interested in making their classrooms safer and more inclusive.

Usually the training is offered through schools or programs as part of their teachers’ professional development, but this opportunity will help spread the work to teachers working at schools that either don’t have the resources, or the commitment to this issue.

“There are teachers who care deeply about making sure their students feel welcome, safe and included, but many don’t have the opportunity to really explore how school might be for members of the LGBQ community,” says Kevin Blake, one of the program’s coordinators. “This training gives them that opportunity.”

Additionally, we will be bringing this program to a school next month to train their entire staff. We are able to offer this training to the school that otherwise would not be able to afford it, thanks to the contributions from our supporters, like you. Thank you.

Isaac getting ready for a training (2014)
Isaac getting ready for a training (2014)

Teachers who participate in our program tell us about the impact that our trainings have had on them and how they manage their classrooms;  however, teachers aren’t the only ones who benefit from our trainings. Indeed, our student actors do as well!

 

There is no better example of this than Isaac, one of our former student actors who had the unique opportunity to take what he has learned in his time with our program and implement it in his own career path.

 

            Isaac is a now a college sophomore studying Gender and Women’s Studies and hoping to become an elementary school teacher.  Isaac visited us last week and described his first teaching experience: 

 

“This past summer, I was a teaching fellow at Breakthrough New York: Bronx and I had the fantastic opportunity to co-teach Biology to two classes of fifteen seventh graders from under-resourced schools in the area. The entire summer, whether I was in the classroom or creating lesson plans, I constantly thought back to my experiences with Creating Bias Free Classrooms in an effort to ensure that I was making my classroom as safe and welcoming for my students as I possibly could. The world that we live in is unjust and cruel, full of prejudice and systemic oppression, but in teaching, I see a way to mitigate that. My time as a high school student in this program and as a college student in Breakthrough New York have allowed me to witness the truly liberating potential of education. Looking forward to a career in teaching, I am grateful for the experiences that have gotten me to where I am today and have given me the tools to be as thoughtful of a teacher as I can be.”

 

            It is great to hear his story and know that the impact of this program is expanding not only from the teachers we train, but also from the students who help train them.

Isaac and co-teacher in 2017
Isaac and co-teacher in 2017
 

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Organization Information

Western Justice Center

Location: Pasadena, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Lori Nelson
Executive Director
Pasadena, CA United States

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