LGBTQ Resources for Middle School Students at Churchill County School District Removed

  • 2022-05-10, 01:43 PM (update 2022-05-11, 11:40 AM)
  • Rachel Dahl
LGBTQ Resources for Middle School Students at Churchill County School… From the LGBTQ resource page on the Churchill County middle school website that has been taken down as of May 10.
Student-centered LGBTQIA+ Allyship, A collection of resources website

The Churchill County Middle School website has had available for students and parents, resources on the Counseling and Guidance page where students can get help with career exploration, a program called Too Good for Drugs, tutoring, as well as LGBTQ resources.

Titled “Student-Centered LGBTQIA+ Allyship” the page is a collection of resources that students and parents can access which provides information on topics from terminology, ways to be an ally, and religious resources. The site specifically says, “This is an exclusively online project created by a queer educator, for queer students and their allies.”

Under the “Students” link, information is available with links to support organizations, as well as such topics as binding, tucking, summer camps, and rebirth garments.

Many of the links take the child to a resource page provided by The Trevor Project with a handbook on coming out, navigating LGBTQ identities and religion, as well as a page specifically for friends and families that includes using pronouns, ways to provide support, and learning to accept children without conditions.

The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization run out of West Hollywood, California with an annual revenue stream of $13 million dollars, employing 97 people. Billed as “The world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people,” The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The website provides links to resources for crisis support, advocacy, research, and education. The site also asks for donations to help “save and change lives.”

Also available on the website for students, is what The Trevor Project calls intentional spaces, or Affinity Groups, which allow youth to connect with each other through the website based on their different intersectional identities.

Many of the resources on the counseling site address how to support youth, including “best practices” and a list of things parents and adults can do to be supportive, however, there are no resources available to address what parents may be going through in this situation.

A general search of resources for parents includes the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which has extensive resources where parents can learn how to support their child; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) also offer several resources for support and education, including a course on introspection about your biases; as well as the LGBT Resources at Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Johns Hopkins site does recognize that providing support may not be easy and there are “unique challenges that parents often feel unprepared to tackle,” however, it also only offers ways to help support the child without addressing ways for the parent to process or understand the huge body of information that about LGBTQIA.

Kaylene Cole-Tudor is a counselor at the middle school who explained, “The LGBTQ resource is a list of resources used to support students, which is also important to the district to ensure that we have reliable and accurate resources available for both students and families.”

Carmen Schank, a School Board Trustee didn’t know about the website but said she had been contacted by a parent about the LGBTQ club that meets after school at the middle school. She said there is a push from the state to make sure kids feel safe and emotionally secure, and there is a focus on Social and Emotional Learning. “I want all kids to be safe, not just LGBTQ kids, but those kids who come from families whose parents believe marriage is between a man and a woman and they don’t want their kids into all these LGBTQ things that are going on. Those children need to be just as safe as the students in the LGBTQ club.”

Matt Hyde said he had heard about the LGBTQ club at the middle school but was not aware of the website. He did not know who put up the website, but after seeing some of the materials available to students on the site he said, “I’m not against those students or supporting them but not with a website like that.”

When Tricia Strasdin was made aware of the LGBTQIA+ Ally website she sent the following statement, “I had no idea it was there. And although I support EVERY student’s well-being, I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do that.”

Fred Buckmaster also said he had no idea about the website and wondered who had approved making the information available.

On Tuesday morning, May 10, the link on the middle school website to the LGBTQ Resources, which was located on the counseling website under the "Resources" section below Too Good for Drugs and above Tutoring LGBTQ resources, was no longer on the website and the link was gone.

Stephens responded Tuesday to an email request that was sent Monday, saying, “There is not LGBTQ club at the middle school. I would also add that the website, which does have very good resources for our students, is currently undergoing vetting and is offline at this time – resources for students are currently available with the counseling office.”

The address for the website was found at: https://sites.google.com/churchillcsd.com/student-centered-allyship/home?authuser=0

 

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Rachel Dahl

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Anonymous
Anonymous 2022-05-11, 07:41 AM
A school district website should just contain information and links to resources inside that district only to avoid liability.

other