Tag Archives: students

What Will Trump’s Election Mean For Students?

Because of the Trump election, I am worried about just about everyone, from women to LGBTQ people to people of color – but I’m especially worried about children.

Students are just figuring out their identities, looking to the media to figure out who they are and whom it’s okay to be. And if Trump and his cabinet carry out the policies they promised during election season, students are going to get the message that it’s not okay to be anything except straight, white and male.


It’s impossible to know for sure how Trump’s presidency will affect students, but educational professionals have some idea. And it doesn’t look good.

Public education funding will decrease.

A voucher program allows taxpayers to direct money to private schools instead of public schools. Yes, this is as elitist as it sounds. Low-income public schools lose the few precious funds that they have, while expensive private schools get to fatten their coffers. Worse, many private schools are beyond state and federal regulation, so the government can’t intervene to make sure LGBT students are treated equally.

Transgender rights will face a setback.

Title IX of the Constitution forbids discrimination based on sex. In the past few years, Democrats have interpreted this title to include gender identity, mandating that public schools and state colleges let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

The Supreme Court is deliberating this issue. If Trump appoints a conservative justice, this Title IX interpretation will likely be shot down, and transgender students will have a harder time receiving fair treatment.

Research on LGBT students will be restricted.

Obama has directed funding toward researching the treatment and education that LGBT students receive in schools. This research is vital because it shows where the most work needs to be done.Although research has improved in this area, there’s still a lot of work to be done. A lot. Few longitudinal studies have been conducted on LGBT students to track their experiences over time, and most federal data sources include few if any questions about LGBT experiences. When Trump takes office, we can expect this crucial research to decrease.

Although research has improved in this area, there’s still a lot of work to be done. A lot. Few longitudinal studies have been conducted on LGBT students to track their experiences over time, and most federal data sources include few if any questions about LGBT experiences. When Trump takes office, we can expect funding for this crucial research to decrease.

When Trump takes office, we will have to vigilantly watch his economic, foreign and social policies. But we will have to keep a particular eye on our schools, where the most vulnerable young Americans may suffer the most.

Number Of Children Self-Harming Grows, As Mental Health Problems Amongst Students Rise

A newly-published survey of head teachers says the number of children are self-harming or harbouring suicidal thoughts is growing, because mental health problems amongst pupils are rising.

A survey of 338 schools in the UK, revealed 55% of staff said they had experienced a large increase in cases of anxiety and stress – while more than 40% reported a big increase in cyber-bullying.

The survey, conducted jointly by the Association of School and College Leaders – which represents secondary school heads – and the National Children’s Bureau – also reported that nearly eight out of 10 schools (nearly 80%) reported an increase in the number of pupils self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

At the same time as mental health problems were increasing, nearly two-thirds of schools (65%) reported that it was becoming more difficult to access mental health care from local services.

Malcolm Trobe, acting general secretary of ASCL, reported

Our survey shows a serious gap in mental health services beyond the school gates. The fact is children today face an extraordinary range of pressures.  They live in a world of enormously high expectations, where new technologies present totally new challenges such as  cyber-bullying. There has seldom been a time when specialist mental health care is so badly needed and yet it often appears to be the poor relation of the health service.

Early intervention is essential before problems become entrenched and start to increase in severity. These services are a vital lifeline that many young people cannot do without.”

The survey’s findings were supported this week by mental health campaigners with Lucie Russell, director of campaign at the mental health charity Young Minds saying:

We shouldn’t underestimate the huge amount of pressure young people today face: family breakdown, stress at school, body image issues, early sexualisation, 24/7 online networking, bullying on and offline and uncertainty about the future after school are all piling on the stress.

To make matters worse when young people are struggling it can be extremely difficult for them to get the support they need.”

She added that services were ”a postcode lottery with unacceptably long waiting times in many areas.“

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the NCB, added:

It is alarming that teachers are seeing ever-growing numbers of children self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.  For these young people, and many others like them, their psychological states are almost too much to bear.

While schools are doing their best to help, in cases where children are in acute need they require specialist mental health services to step in and provide support. Unfortunately, teachers say that limited capacity in these services often makes referrals very difficult.”

The survey’s evidence comes on top of concerns expressed by the Commons select committee of health that many schools were finding the threshold for triggering action to help pupils was “unreasonably high” .

The results of the survey support concerns that there are worryingly high levels of mental health and well-being issues among young people and that the prevalence of  these issues has increased during the past five years. It is also noted that the prevalence of the relatively new phenomenon of cyber-bullying has significantly increased over that time.”

‘Gay O.K.’ T-Shirts Banned at a Texas Middle School (Video)

In support a seventh grader who recently came out as gay in their school, students from Faubion Middle School in McKinney, Texas, designed t-shirt with Gay O.K.

However, the move did not go down well with the schools authorities, with two students being sent home, and a dozen others were made to cover up their homemade t-shirts.

Administrators at at the Middle School, were greeted by a small riot in the school cafeteria when they decided to eject two boys for wearing handmade Gay O.K. t-shirts and force another dozen or so students to cover up their shirts.

Sammy Heiman, the seventh grader who designed the shirts told NBCDFW News.

We were doing perfectly fine until lunch. And then (school officials) called us all out, all the people wearing them, called us out of the cafeteria. And people started getting rowdy because they knew what was going on. They were making us take off the shirts.”

The kids wore the shirts to show support for a seventh grader who recently came out.

They looked at the dress code, which bans “Clothing including tee shirts which displays sex, violence, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, death, gang or hate slogans or pictures,” and thought the Gay O.K. message would pass muster.

But administrators used another part of the dress code that reads, “Any disruptive or distractive mode of clothing or appearance that adversely impacts the educational process is not permitted,” to ban the shirts. It turned out making the kids take off the shirts was a lot more distractive than letting them wear them.

NBCDFW reported that videos posted to Twitter showed a cafeteria full of students chanting, Gay O.K. as administrators confronted the students. The rebellion only escalated when two of the boys were removed.

Cody Cunningham, spokesman for the McKinney Independent School District said

In this particular case, a verbal disruption occurred between a large number of students in the cafeteria as a result of the shirts. This was not a civil debate, but rather yelling and shouting, and alarmed a large number of students.”

School officials offered no thoughts on how the positive message of the shirts might bolster the seventh grader who came out, nor how their own intolerance for the students’ messages of support might be hurtful to him.

New Study Says Lesbian And Gay Students Are More Likely to Get Pregnant (Confused?)

A new study has revealed that lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students have a higher rate of pregnancy than their heterosexual peers.

Confused? Keep reading.

Dr Lisa Lindley, a professor of global and community health at George Mason University, looked at the sexual orientation of 9,703 New York students – analysing their sexual identity and the gender of sexual partners.

The findings revealed that 23% of reported pregnancies were women who categorised themselves as lesbian, and 20% from those who identified as bisexual.


This is in comparison to a lesser pregnancy rate of 13% in females who identified as heterosexual but had slept with women, and 13% in those who had only ever slept with men.

The results were just as unexpected when it came to the guys.

The study revealed that 28% of gay and bisexual men had got girls pregnant, as had 37% of those who have sex with both men and women, with just 10% of straight men having got a girl pregnant.

According to Dr Lindley, what is key, is educating students of every sexual identity (especially the LGBT community) about birth control methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Sexual orientation should be considered in future adolescent pregnancy-prevention efforts, including the design of pregnancy-prevention interventions.”

Lesbian Teacher Finds Support After Being Fired For Being Pregnant

Finding acceptance in our hearts, many of us understand that discrimination is wrong. Regardless of your gender identity, sexuality or race we should all be treated with respect because as human beings looking out for one another it’s what we all deserve. Plenty of us also understand that these things should not stop us from getting jobs, finding homes or gaining access to healthcare but unfortunately, the law doesn’t always agree. This is the case in several states in the United States of America where employers are legally permitted to fire someone for being LGBT and it’s because of this, one teacher says, that she was fired.

Barb Webb is the teacher in question and despite working at the all-girls Marian High School for nine years, she says that after she became pregnant she was fired with no explanation. Not only did the school’s board fail to give her a reason for her termination, they also suggested that she resign (with health benefits) and held several meetings with her reminding her of Marian High’s morality clause which states that employees “will not publicly engage in actions, or endorse actions or beliefs contrary to the teachings and standards of the Roman Catholic faith and morality.”

However, even with this morality clause in place, Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prevents employers from firing on the grounds of “familial status” which would in theory protect Barb Webb for being fired over her “non-traditional” pregnancy. The problem is that as the law has no specific language pertaining to LGBT employees (Webb has been with her partner Kristin Lasecki for five years) Marian may be able to evade the law.

They can’t evade the watchful eyes of their alumni though as 3,000 former students of Marian High School have joined a Facebook page demanding justice for Webb’s dismissal and 700 alumni have signed a petition in support of the fired teacher. Several have also been part of a protest, involving signs that explain that not only are alumni in support of LGBTQ rights but that the school’s firing of Webb contradicts the teachings of tolerance and respect that they learnt  whilst they were students.

Marian High School’s board have not yet explained why they fired Webb or responded to the protests but we’ll keep you posted once they do.