Back in August, I wrote about the cautious reaction I received from my colleagues to the sexual minority material in my part of the online Adolescent Development course that we were developing for teachers in our district. Last Monday, we met in person, after working remotely all summer, to finalize the details of the course. The other three teachers again expressed some reservations about that piece. They also said that we should be careful how we present the information so that "we don't offend anyone."
I pointed to the statistics about the difficulties that many gay and bisexual kids face in school, and the lack of support we currently offer them in middle school-- we act as if it's not an issue for kids so young. After some gentle debate, the group decided to send the course forward, as it was, for the assistant superintendent for instruction's approval.
Imagine how pleased I was to read the cover story of the NY Times Magazine this week, Coming Out in Middle School. It raises many of the same concerns and issues that we're only now tip-toeing up to in our school system. I'm hopeful that such broad exposure will push the conversation further out into the open.