Confronting Religious Bigotry in the Classroom

In June of 2017, in a post called “LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms Part II,” I wrote, “LGBTQ issues are non-debatable in classrooms of districts with inclusive nondiscrimination policies. Space should be made in all classrooms (especially Social Studies classrooms) for student expression of a variety of opinions on numerous civic and political issues. There … Continue reading Confronting Religious Bigotry in the Classroom

Donald Trump is President, and I am a Public School Teacher

(In my classroom, I rarely speak his name, so forgive me for repeating it here.) Donald Trump is president, and I am a public school teacher. Let that sink in for a moment… Now, allow me to explain. Donald Trump is president, and I teach my students that ridiculing people with disabilities is a sign … Continue reading Donald Trump is President, and I am a Public School Teacher

Best Practices for Inclusive Classroom Language

Teachers communicate in numerous nonverbal ways including facial expressions, body language, posture, proxemics, etc., but verbal language will always be an essential part of the teacher-student relationship. The exchange of words is and must remain central to the learning process. To be sure, even when it is clear that a class is not paying close … Continue reading Best Practices for Inclusive Classroom Language

LGBTQ Students Need Support Long Before They Reach High School

It is rather common for high schools in any region of the U.S. to be inclusive of clubs such as GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) and/or welcoming to LGBTQ advocacy groups such as PFLAG. High school classrooms can often be found prominently displaying stickers or posters declaring the room a “safe space” for LGBTQ students. Traditionally, because … Continue reading LGBTQ Students Need Support Long Before They Reach High School

LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms Part II

A companion to the “Dear Colleague Letter” released by the Obama administration last spring, which directed public schools to make necessary changes to protect the civil rights of transgender students, was a document called “Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students.” This extensive document is organized in a question and answer format … Continue reading LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms Part II

LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms – Part I

On any given day during the legislative session, Oklahoma can be seen running a tight race with North Carolina and Tennessee for the title of “state with the most homophobic and discriminatory legislation.” Every year in Oklahoma, a host of anti-LGBTQ bills are introduced in both houses. Fortunately, over the last several years, virtually all … Continue reading LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms – Part I