By: Lucille Amato, age 11, New Jersey.
Imagine that a young girl, with a normal life, has just come out as a part of the LGBTQ+ community to her classmates. That girl’s life has just changed because she has discovered something new about herself, but the needed support from her peers is nowhere to be seen. The classmates who don’t understand, give her weird looks, the classmates that do, sit in silence. Even the teacher is confused because that teacher was never taught about what LGBTQ+ means. Because of all this, the girl who expected support from her friends is left in awkward silence, feeling like she isn’t normal. LGBTQ+ is a community of people who have a gender or sexuality that is different from what people think of as normal. Plenty of people know this but a lot are unaware. This leads us to the question, should LGBTQ+ be taught in schools? Yes, definitely! There would be less bullying and happier students that are more prepared for the real world if we teach LGBTQ+ in schools!
My first reason is that there would be less bullying if kids learn that being LGBTQ+ is normal at a young age. According to StopBullying.gov 32% of bullying is directed towards kids that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Kids make fun of what they don’t understand so if they already know about LGBTQ+ then much less bullying would take place. If less bullying took place, it could also lead to better student grades and attendance rates. Because of school bullying, kids get anxiety which causes a lot of stress. All this stress can lead to lower grades. Also these LGBTQ+ bullies can cause kids to fake sickness or stay home just to avoid school. School should be a safe place to learn and have fun, and a student should never have to wake up with fear of going there.
Another reason is that if we teach LGBTQ+ in schools, it helps kids come out of their shells faster which makes students feel more comfortable, not just in school, but anywhere! Many kids suffer from wondering about their genders and not knowing can cause a lot of stress. Some students know that they are not comfortable with their assigned gender from birth, but they don’t know what that means. Thoughts such as “Do I like being a he/him or should I be a she/her or a they/them or maybe none of them? I don’t understand all of these pronouns!” go through some students’ heads every day. If it was taught in school they could understand more and know that they have support from teachers and their peers. Also it could make it so much easier for a kid to come out if their peers already knew what LGBTQ+ means. A kid shouldn’t be forced to keep explaining what their pronouns mean or what their sexuality means. If kids already knew then all these questions wouldn’t have to be asked.
Lastly, LGBTQ+ should be normalized so students can be more prepared. When a kid is young they are more impressionable so it’s best to normalize the LGBTQ+ community at elementary school ages. For example, most kids grow up with “boy” and “girl” being the only two genders and only boys and girls date each other, but when they grow up into the real world, they are going to be very surprised
There are many pronouns people can use and anybody can date anybody. Schools are meant to teach students and prepare them for the real world so normalizing the community should be one of the
Although some religions might go against the LGBTQ+ community, kids have the right to learn about it. I know certain religions state that a member of the religion cannot be a part of the LGBTQ+ community but that doesn’t mean they can’t support it. Of course schools should never force someone to do anything that goes against their religion, but learning and supporting the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t make you a part of it. Also if parents truly refuse to let their children learn about LGBTQ+ for religious reasons they can always put them in a private or religious school. Even if religion is the reason a few parents wouldn’t want their child learning about the LGBTQ+ community, that’s not an excuse not to teach it. When it’s taught you will have happier students who are bullied less and are more prepared for the real world.
This community is constantly growing and more and more people are feeling comfortable with expressing their true colors. The world is changing so, don’t you think it’s time schools changed too? Schools would benefit so much from teaching students about the LGBTQ+ . If you also believe that schools would benefit from less bullying and happier students who are more prepared for the LGBTQ+ filled world, then spread the word! LGBTQ+ should be taught in schools!
You can visit https://www.hmhco.com/blog/ways-to-support-lgbtq- students-to-feel-safe-in-school for more information.
By Lucille Amato, 11, New Jersey.
Lucille is an AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) who identifies as non binary and uses they/them pronoun.