Queering Schools by the editors of Rethinking Schools
Last week while trying to pick a week to lead discussion there were two topics that I was very interested in. I was interested in the Nov. 5th topic Seeing Queerly and the Nov. 19th topic The Politics of Inclusion. Both these topics are something that I feel passionate about. We have talked so much about the power of privilege and these two groups are at the bottom of the power pyramid in todays culture, but I can see the growth that they have had in my lifetime. We have talked about the campaign "Spread the Word to End the Word" and I have heard about "To B GLAD" day (Transgender, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Awareness Day). In the end I chose the topic The Politics of Inclusion, but I still wanted to do more research on Queering Schools. So whomever did pic the topic here is a jumping off point for you.
Currently, I work in a Catholic school, I am not Catholic, nor was I raised Catholic, or any religion in particular, though my family celebrated Christian traditions, I do not personally consider myself a Christian. As I began to read the article I continued to think how would this conversation/lesson go at my school. Would it even be allowed? (Stances of Faiths on LGBT Issues: Roman Catholic Church) Though I may not push the boundaries at this school in my first month as a teacher there, I still think that the LGBTQ community needs a voice in our schools. Just like the racial issues we've been discussing in class, this subject also needs to be bought up and discussed with students. The article Queering Schools was about ways that we as teachers can begin to bring the topic of LGBTQ issues into our schools. The editors quoted and excerpt from From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, by Jacqueline Woodson, “Transsexuals, Teaching Your Children” (spring 2010),
"What about enlarging a study of the Harlem Renaissance to explore the lives and impact of such LGBTQ poets, authors, and musicians as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Angelina Weld Grimké, Ethel Waters, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Josephine Baker? What about including the Lavender Scare in the study of the McCarthy era? Or the Stonewall Riots as part of the political foment of the late ’60s? Or considering implications of the campaign for LGBTQ acceptance in the military in the context of questioning current U.S. military strategy?"
The next quote reminded me so much of our discussion in class, and especially last weeks article by Armstrong and Wildman. Again, these authors urge us to not sweep the issues under the rug, but find ways that we can openly talk about them.
"This means a school filled with adults who are prepared to talk and listen to children talk about gender and sexuality, as well as other controversial and sensitive topics—adults who are willing to learn from youth as well as lead them. Community is built by working through differences, not sweeping them under the rug."
I greatly enjoyed looking through the articles on ReThinkingSchools, and I cannot wait to see what each of us choose to read about.