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Teaching Tolerance: Bullying Series

Even though we “fell back” to standard time overnight, my body woke me up extremely early this morning.  Fortunately, my New York Times was already waiting at the foot of my driveway when I came downstairs for an earlier-than-normal breakfast.  In my typical Sunday morning fashion, I saved the first section of the paper to read last.  By the time 8:30 rolled around, I found myself reading “In School Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda,” by Erik Eckholm, which deals with initiatives in several communities (with a focus on Helena, Montana) to teach acceptance of homosexuality to all school-age children, including those who are in Kindergarten.  The article is an interesting read since programs, like the one in Helena, have caused controversies between people who think it’s okay to teach acceptance of homosexuality to all students and those who feel that there’s an agenda being set through this type of curriculum.
Like many communities across the country, Helena has students who have been bullied after coming out to their peers.  In light of recent suicides across the country, school districts are looking for ways to teach students about different family structures and about being tolerant towards those whose sexual preferences may include people from the same sex.  In the words of Kirsten Vital, a school superintendent, “Everyone in our community needs to feel safe and visible and included.”  But how does that happen when some people don’t want their children to learn about sexual differences?
Click here to read Eckholm’s article.

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Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

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