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Safe Schools for All: Establishing a Learning Environment that Supports Students who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender

March 4, 2009
All students need a safe and supportive environment in which to learn including students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT). Statistics show a lack of understanding and visible support from many youth-serving workers and educators in the state of Iowa. Many of Iowa’s current and future educators and administrators are unprepared or unsure of how to respond when students use words/phrases such as ‘fag’, ‘dyke’, or ‘that’s so gay.’ Iowa’s education staff members are unsure of how to support individual students who come out to them often leaving the students alone and isolated. This has become not just an Iowa based issue either with over 10 states having passed anti-bullying laws in recent years such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont, California, Maine, Massachusetts and proposals waiting in Illinois, Nebraska, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, and federally as part of a new education bill in Congress.

This workshop goes over terminology of the GLBT community, legal information in the state of Iowa, solutions to anti-GLBT harassment and bullying in Iowa’s schools, and what your individual college or university can do to be better prepare Iowa’s future educators. Creating safe and healthy learning environments for all students no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity takes time and commitments from everyone involved in the education system.

Continuing the work begun at the October, 2007, Summit on Meeting the Needs of All Iowa Learners . . .

The following regional workshops are provided:

o Buena Vista University, Storm Lake March 9

o Drake University, Des Moines March 10

o Clarke College, Dubuque March 23

o University of Northern Iowa March 26

o University of Iowa March 30

Workshop at UNI will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

All other workshops will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Specific locations will follow.

The workshop:

➢ is interactive and provides a model to replicate with students back on your campus/in your schools. Follow-up materials will be provided for use with your students.

➢ will be conducted by Nate Monson of Iowa Safe Schools. This workshop has been presented to individual classes at some of our preparation programs and is used statewide to help develop awareness, understanding and positive action on the part of Iowa educators.

Registration is free. Please register for planning purposes.

Individuals may register themselves.

When possible, please register groups with one e-mail.

Registration deadline: 4 working days prior to the workshop you plan to attend.

To register, please reply to Rebecca.Griglione@iowa.gov with the following information:

Name of your institution:

Names of workshop participants:

Location of workshop you will attend: