Saturday, February 26, 2011

Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School


I went on the GLSEN website and I found an article that I thought was most interesting to me. This article is called "Harsh Realities Finds Transgender Youth Face Extreme Harassment in School". I found that this article was particularly interesting because it was about transgenders. In my experience I have heard more about gay, lesbian, and bisexual harassment more than transgender harassment. I am most unfamiliar with transgenders so I thought that this article may inform me a little more. The article absolutely informed me and taught me a lot more than I did know. It also got me a little more interested and I also found some other things on the internet that relate to this subject.

This article, "Lonley Road: Why School is Hell for Transgender Pupils" made me see how it made transgenders feel when they went to school with peers. In the GLSEN article it said that transgenders face even higher victimization in schools than non-transgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. 9 out of 10 transgender students faced verbal harassment from their peers at school because they were transgender and unfortunately more than half faced physical harassment. " Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%)." It really makes me very sad to see what the girl in the Lonley Road article had to go through. Lauren was verbally harassed to the point of where she wanted to kill herself. It came to the point to her that the harassment was enough to not even make her want to live her life anymore. She didn't feel like she was worth enough to live. That is a really low place to be in your life when you don't want to live anymore. All of the feelings that she had about wanting to kill herself was all thanks to her disrespectful peers. The treatment from her peers eventually got worse, and it became physical harassment. They spit in her face and even tried to take off her skirt so they could see her genitals. I don't think that any student should have to deal with these sort of issues in school. Fortunately for Lauren she spoke to her parents about these problems and higher authority at school and they helped her change schools and did the best they could do to help. In the GLSEN article it says that transgender students are more likely than gay, lesbian, and bisexual students to speak out about the harassment. In the article it also says that it's very important that the schools are made aware of these problems so they can try to help in the best way they can. Some do not help at all, but when they do it could change a situation for the better.

This video unfortunately shows how school systems are not willing to help transgenders lives easier in the school system. They won't allow Oakleigh to become homecoming king because he is technically a "female" In this case, the students that are shown in this video are supporting Oakleigh which is a nice sight to see, but the school system is showing discrimination towards him because he is transgender. Oakleigh is technically a female but he chooses to be seen as a male. He ran for homecoming king and the students obviously think that he should be able to be homecoming king. I think that he should be able to be the king because if the students voted for him, they want him to be their homecoming king. All the school system did was make him feel different and as he said in the video, he was holding back tears. He also said that he wasn't able to enjoy his homecoming because of this and did not show school spirit because he was so let down. In the GLSEN article it says that "Although most transgender students (83%) could identify at least one supportive educator, only a third (36%) could identify many (six or more) supportive staff." In Oakleigh's case she did not have very much support from her school district in any way.

It makes me really sad that there are even worse cases of harassment than these links that I posted. Some people are even killed for the fact that they transgender. Even when transgender students are out of school and on their own, they will still always be harassed and discriminated against. They will always have to live this way as long and people don't change their mind sets. Here is a video in remembrance of some of those who have been murdered for being transgender. It truly breaks my heart to watch it because transgenders are people just like anybody else. I don't understand why people have to hate others who are different from them.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share: This assignment was one of my favorite ones so far because it is so interesting, but sad at the same time to read the articles and watch the videos about LGBT men and women. I understand why people are afraid to accept someone who isn't the "norm", but what is normal anyway? There is no true definition for normal. Some things may be normal to some and not normal to others. It all has to do with a particular person's view. I see why people may be afraid to accept people of LGBT because they are different but I certainly don't believe that this gives them the right to harass or even murder them. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier


"There are differences between first language and second language acquisition in children. These include variables such as the child's age, place and time of second language acquisition, individual learning style, the broader society's social perceptions of the status of the child's identity group, and the child's desire or need to understand and/or identify with speakers of the new language."
In this quote Collier is saying that you need to teach children differently depending on whether they are being taught their first or second language. You cannot be taught your second language the way that you were taught your first language. It also depends on what age you are at the time of learning the languages. I think that Collier is saying that as a teacher you need to figure out how to teach the child considering that they are bilingual. It isn't all up to the teacher either because the student has to have the desire and want to understand a new and different language. If the student is not interested, then it probably won't work out so well.

"Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language."
Collier is telling us in this quote is that we should not teach a second language in order to override the students' first language. A students' first language is who they are as a person. They should not be made to feel like their language is wrong or that they should no longer use their first language. Their first language is important to them. Collier says that instead of making the student feel bad about their first language that perhaps a teacher could show them the differences between their first and second languages. Doing these kinds of things will help students get an easier understanding of the language used in formal schooling if they compare it to their first language.

"Teach the standard form of English and students' home language together with an appreciation of dialect differences to create an environment of language recognition in the classroom."
The teacher in a classroom with bilingual students needs to understand and appreciate that their students are bilingual. They need to plan their lessons with these things in mind and recognize the different ways that they can use language in the classroom. A teacher should not look down on a student who is biligual; they should accept it. They can use different languages to their advantages. Collier states that "once a child becomes literate in the home language, literacy skills swiftly transfer to second language settings." If a student knows their first language well, it will help in learning their second language in the classroom.

Questions/ Comments/Points to Share:
While I was reading this article by Collier it made me realize that I haven't experienced much yet in the classroom. In my own schooling I never knew anybody that was bilingual so I had no idea that there were certain ways to teach when having a biligual student in the classroom. I know that many of the Providence schools have bilingual students, but I still have not been able to experience my VIPS assignment yet. I hope to be able to go soon so I can learn more about the different types of people and cultures in the classroom so it will help me to learn to be a good teacher.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

White Privelege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

I read this article by Peggy McIntosh and it reminded me of my experience in class the other day when Dr. Bogad went over S.C.W.A.A.M.P. When we went over this in class it completely made me realize that I was in the culture of power. Before reading this article and before this FNED class I never even realized that I was so much more privileged than other people. Reading the list of things that McIntosh wrote of ways in which she feels privileged compared to people of other races made me realize that the list pertains to me too. I never thought of it from a black person's point of view before. I wanted to see it from a black person's point of view so I did some searching on the internet.I'm sure that there are even worse stories than these but, after I read a few of these stories it just makes me realize how rude people are to people of color. I would absolutely hate to be treated like that just because of my skin color.

I don't personally have any black friends, but I really wish that I did because I feel like it would make me more aware of how black people feel and how they live compared to my lifestyle. In McIntosh's list she mentioned in number nineteen that, "If  a traffic cop pulls me over, or if  the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of  my race. " This number on the list reminds me that I won't be getting pulled over unless I really did break the law in some way because I'm white. In a movie that I recently saw, a different situation happened. The movie I watched is all about racism and it really is a great movie to watch. The movie is called Crash. In the movie a veteran cop pulls over a black couple in an SUV merely because they are black. When he pulls them over he makes them get out of the car and he frisks them with his partner. The partner frisks the black male and the veteran cop frisks the black female. He has no reason to treat her badly but he does and he sexually assaults her. The black couple cannot do anything about it. They cannot report this to authority because the person that did this was authority. They had to go home without any dignity. McIntosh's article makes me feel lucky that I have privilege because I'm white, but it also makes me feel terrible for others who don't have the privilege. I wish that there was some way I could help in a big way.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
Does anybody have any racism stories that they would like to tell? Has anybody ever witnessed anything happen or have they experienced it themselves? It really interests me to hear the type of stories to make me aware because I am not discriminated by my race and I want to see it from another person's view.