Summer 2009 EdLion Sessions
by Pamela Batson
The College of Education’s Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) will be sponsoring the 2009 EdLion Sessions titled “An Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally (LGBTA) Concerns in the Schools.” The free online sessions are offered to elementary and secondary teachers seeking further training with LGBTA issues and Act 48 credit hours. The sessions are also open to anyone interested in the topics such as current students, faculty, and staff or others with Penn State accounts.
Session I – June 2: Understanding the Basics, will be presented by Allison Subasic, director of the LGBTA Student Resource Center at Penn State. The session will address basic definitions and recommendations for understanding challenges schools face when addressing the issues and providing a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTA individuals. The session will also provide resources and will be open for specific questions for current issues in individual schools or districts.
Session II – June 9: Skill Building, will be presented by Peggy Lorah, director of the Center for Women Students. The session will provide information about the challenges LGBTA students face and will offer strategies for dealing affirmatively with these concerns. Lorah will also help participants talk with other students, parents, and administrators in ways that provide factual information and further a healthy school climate.
Session III – June 16: Program Development, presented by Denise Hinds-Zaami, counselor and diversity advocate for students at the Multicultural Resource Center. Hinds-Zaami will be joined by members of Discussion on Women in Need of Encouragement (a student organization for lesbian women of color). This session will focus upon exploring ways to help create a climate of respect within your classroom and school and will serve as an introduction to LGBTA concerns in the schools.
Lorah further explains the importance of the three part series, “If you work in a school setting, you have the opportunity to save the lives of LGBTA students. The rates of depression, suicide attempts, and completed suicides are higher for these students than for students in general. In addition, they are more at risk for being the targets of other students. LGBTA students tell us that the language and attitudes of their teachers and school counselors toward them--and toward students who target them—have an enormous impact of their sense of self, their well-being, and their safety.”
All sessions will take place from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Participation in all three sessions will qualify for Act 48 credit hours. For more information or to register, visit: www.ed.psu.edu/educ/edlion