Special Interest Groups Rally Behind Quiltbag

3043 words - 12 pages

Politics dictates how a government or state based system is run, and if its parts are functioning at maximum capacity. At its core, the structure and unspoken hierarchy of politics and religion in the educational system decrees how educational institutions respond to a number of issues including bullying, harassment, and assaults. The goal of politics and to an extend public policy, and special interest groups interested in anti-bullying and QUILTBAG (Queer, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Agender, Gay) education is to identify the minority, define their specific needs, and to create a structure to allow a safe and inclusive learning environment. Political special interest groups allow for educators to focus on the task of teaching youth, while offering resources to those that may be victims of bigotry or violence due to gender identity or expression.
The definition of a safe space has been adopted into a program well past its pilot stage, implemented in schools across the country, known as the Safe Schools initiative. It has been created by one of the most high profile special interest groups: GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian Straight Education Network). GLSEN includes political and structural tools in its training material, such as: “Concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, educating about anti-LGBT bias and advocating for changes in your school.” (“GLSEN”) this training is key to understanding how politics and targeted special interest campaigns can change or charge social issues at even a community level to broaden GLBT youth acceptance, as “Advocacy groups often attempt to educate the general public as well as policy makers about the nature of problems, what legislation is needed to address problems, and the funding required to provide services or conduct research.” (Kilpatrick 1)
Oftentimes, the needs of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) youth are ignored in school systems. These youth are often forced into a mold which is the same as their heterosexual peers. This homogenization can often lead to depression and feelings of alienation for the QUILTBAG student in question. Fortunately, some schools have adopted programs to address these concerns. Worldwide programs such as the Day of Silence also help to shed light on the plight of QUILTBAG students. Recently, the President of the United States signed the Safe Schools Initiative bill into law which will greatly improve the environment that QUILTBAG students learn in, making huge strides for anti-bullying legislation. Educational policies and individual district politics are often wrought with legislative red tape. Fortunately, there is no shortage of research material that clearly demonstrates the stark need for a safer learning environment for today’s QUILTBAG youth. Politics in schools is such that these rules are structured and put into place as a framework for a school to follow, and does not extend to merely policy....

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