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Northwest Gay-Straight Alliance presents to middle school staff

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Northwest Gay-Straight Alliance presents to middle school staff

President Emma Fagerberg  practices presenting during a GSA meeting.

President Emma Fagerberg practices presenting during a GSA meeting.

President Emma Fagerberg practices presenting during a GSA meeting.

President Emma Fagerberg practices presenting during a GSA meeting.

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After noticing a growing number of targeted LGBT+ bullying and discrimination, the Northwest Gay Straight Alliance began a program to help educate teachers on LGBT+ students.  At a faculty meeting on March 13, members of the Gay-Straight Alliance presented a powerpoint on LGBT+ awareness and its relevance in schools to the staff of Northwest Middle School.

This outreach was a further extension to the presentation the organization gave to the staff of Northwest High School in March 2017, after they felt the need to promote safe spaces for LGBT+ youth before they reach high school, as people typically begin questioning their sexuality in their early teen and “tween” years.

The presenters consisted of freshman Sophia Carson, sophomore Pierce Dolan, juniors Morgan DelFava and Sarah Teague and senior Emma Fagerberg, who all have been developing and preparing the presentation since their first meetings in October.

The presentation informed teachers how to make students who are LGBT+ or are questioning their sexuality or gender feel comfortable in their learning environments, supported by their teachers and ultimately safe at school.

“I think this will impact students at the middle school by ensuring teachers are better informed of possible bullying or harassment instances,” DelFava said.  “Teachers that are more informed of LGBT+ students and who they are, as well as the different forms of bullying they undergo, are more effective at supporting LGBT+ students.”

Through Gay-Straight Alliance, Northwest High School and Middle School staff have an opportunity to connect with the LGBT+ community in their schools and better understand their struggle.  With SafeZone stickers passed out by the Gay-Straight Alliance, staff can help establish Northwest as a safe space, this impact helping many LGBT+ students.

This presentation also allowed a unique experience to many teachers, who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to connect with their LGBT+ population.

“I believe that the presentation was well received by teachers. They were actively engaged (during the presentation),” DelFava said. “While it was heavy subject matter that we covered and many questions were not expected, our presentation allowed for the teachers and staff to be able to take some key thoughts home with them and allow them to reflect on their teaching styles and support systems they offer young students.”

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Northwest Gay-Straight Alliance presents to middle school staff