QPC@UCSB: Part 1 (Queer Issues at the low-income K-12 Level)

Bakla Show co-producer, Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan, attended The 12th Annual Queer Pin@y Conference at UC Santa Barbara — [Re] Generation: Reviving Our Past, Creating Our Future. This is the first post of a three-part series, focused on the workshops she attended while at the conference.

Session I Workshop:
Queer Issues at the Low-Income K-12 Level
Dean Guzman, UCSB Alumnus

From the workshop description:

I [Dean Guzman] am a second year tenth grade and twelfth grade science teacher at a South Los Angeles high school where 98% of my students qualify for free or reduce lunch and puts them below the poverty line. Although my immediate goals are to end the achievement gap that is prevalent in our low-income communities, I also strive to have my students continually self-reflect about the relationships in their lives. One commitment I will continue to do every year as a teacher is to talk about the teenage LGBT experience with my students (increase dropout rate, increased bullying, increased suicide, etc.). In their relationships with the queer community and let my students realize the importance of their words and actions in our overly homophobic and heteronormative high school environment.

Dean believes trust takes time, and it is necessary to create meaningful relationships with students. To build to this level of connection, teachers and adult staff should be accountable for engaging with students to provide safe spaces for self-reflection and to guide conversations and education of LGBT youth experiences.

He supports this claim with a strong pairing of two videos (a clip from Glee and the It Gets Better Google Chrome ad) and sobering statistics experienced by LGBT youth.


Burt confronts Finn


Google Chrome Ad: It Gets Better

The statistics Dean posted can also be found on Youth Pride Inc.

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