Awareness is a crucial step to overcoming bigotry. When asked in an anonymous survey, many queer Leigh High School students provided their insight on awareness at Leigh High School.
What does “awareness” mean in the context of the queer community, especially focusing on Leigh High School?
Student A: “knowing what [being queer] means and what it stands for. It is also being aware of any possible hate”.
Student B: “There is a lot of homophobia and just ignorance in general at Leigh, even though a good percentage of the student population is queer or at least have queer friends. However, I guess you could say that students are ‘aware’ of the queer community”.
Student C: “Awareness means students have the information necessary to understand and respect their queer peer’s identities”.
Student D: “Being aware that it’s normal to be queer”.
Does Leigh equip students with the appropriate knowledge, history, and general awareness of the queer community? Elaborate on how it does or does not.
Student A: “Leigh provides a very basic understanding of the appropriate knowledge such as only explaining what LGBTQ stands for”.
Student B: “There aren’t any specific queer events and queer history isn’t taught (to my knowledge) but there is a general awareness (even though it’s not necessarily always good)”.
Student C: “Not really. During LGBTQ+ History Month, I didn’t hear a single word about Stonewall, the significance of queer history, the recognition of queer historical figures’s contribution to society, or today’s queer issues”.
Do you feel adequately represented in your classrooms?
Student B: “My teachers do not respect my pronouns”.
Student C: “I know a few teachers have queer flags in their rooms, and many speak about queer representation, so yes for the most part”.
Does the LGBTQ support/inclusion at Leigh allow learning and growth?
Student B: “I think it does, the LGBTQ is a minority just like any other, and as long as there are people in that minority in Leigh, it’s important to include them. Also it’s important to educate homophobic individuals, especially because unfortunately there are many of them at school”.
Student C: “The support shown at Leigh, while it is great, needs a lot more work. I’d like to see more teachers encourage conversations about LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Image by Nitin531, CC BY-SA 4.0