A lot of it has brought us to tears and I need to find time to go and get some more tissues. There have been messages from other teens who tell us that they don’t feel so alone anymore and from parents and grandparents who say they’ve been inspired to reach out to estranged family members. Please do! – omg, go and hug your sprogs. Right now.. Squeeze them til they pop.
Kai graduated high school last year after having rather a hard time – there is definitely not enough support for GLBTIA sproggets in too many schools and we want to do something about that – we’ve written this email to send to our local schools and we would love it if you would forward it to your local schools too. Please pass it along.
To the Principal, the head cheese, the person in charge,
It is statistically probable that there exists in your school population a group of students (and staff) who identify, or who will identify under a GLBTIA umbrella (Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or asexual).
Unfortunately, it is also statistically likely that many of them will experience bullying, depression, suicidal ideation, as well as become victims of violence and sexual assault at some point in their lives – sproggets in this group are disproportionately represented in statistics of this sort. School can be a very difficult place for people who are not heterosexual and cisgender (who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth).
A policy of inclusion and acceptance can go a long way towards reducing the confusion and angst that these young people feel while trying to figure out just where they fit in the world – witnessing loving acceptance from teachers, mentors and authority figures and strict non-tolerance of GLBTIA bullying is also a huge part of developing other students’ own attitudes towards people different from themselves and can have immeasurable benefit when they step out in to the world.
We would like to ask you to consider your current policies.. Does your current uniform allow an option for students who do not identify with stereotypically gendered clothes? (An option for shorts instead of a skirt, for example) Are your staff aware of the issues facing GLBTIA students and how to effectively support them? Do your staff and students have access to non-gendered bathrooms if they choose? How does your school population encourage acceptance, tolerance and understanding? Is education about GLBTIA issues (STD prevention, acknowledgements of asexuality etc) included in your educational curriculum? Is your school a safe place – physically and emotionally – for GLBTIA students?
If you were reading and answered Yes, yes, yes! then we think you’re just great. Good work team. If you were thinking “Umm.. Not so much.” .. Then can we help? Can we provide you with information or connect you with local resources to contribute to educating your staff and developing new policy? Please let us know.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read.
Kai and Yolanda Bogert. – http://www.sproggets.com