Resources for a teacher to handle bullying in her class.
June 15, 2015 9:55 AM   Subscribe

An acquaintance of mine needs resources to help one of her students who is being bullied for being (apparently) LGBTQ. Details inside.

Years ago I used to work with this lady who has since went on to work as an English teacher in a school in Argentina. We have been in touch sporadically via Facebook, and expressed her support when I announced my transition.

A few weeks ago she messaged me, asking me questions about my experience, about what being trans entails and what it doesn't, as well as about being gay. She said she didn't know about it and wanted to understand in order to avoid harming or offending anyone by making assumptions. She actually was pretty spot on in her assumptions (or rather lack of assumptions), but I appreciated that she wanted to hear straight from the horse's mouth.

Then she told me about this kid in one of her classes of 15 year olds. She thinks he may be either gay or trans, because he has "feminine" mannerisms, only hangs out with a group of girls, and is crazy about Justin Bieber. She realises he may be neither, but is very concerned because some people in the class take issue with his behaviour and subject him to bullying.

She would like to properly support him to the extent her role allows in case he does come out, and also do something about the bullying. She doesn't want to single out as it could be counterproductive nor make it specifically about LGBTQ since it could mean outing him when maybe he's just a straight cis boy with a strong feminine side and a poor musical taste.

Unfortunately, while I can give her advise on how to show this kid (and all her students) she's open and available in case they need to talk about something that may be bothering, and being generally LGBTQ positive ( and body positive, etc.) I can't help much with giving her resources about bullying, so that's why I'm asking the hive mind for help. Generic advise, materials for her to read, activities that can be framed as part of language teaching, videos she can show the students to start a conversation, larger scoped projects she can take to the school management, anything is welcome, she's potentially saving a life.
posted by Promethea to Human Relations (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not an expert, but I googled a bit and found a couple of resources. If I were in her situation, I would approach these:

The Buenos Aires Human Rights Secretary offers support via a phone number and a website: Qué hacer ante un caso de bullying. This might require her to be in Buenos Aires, but other regional governments have resources of their own, as in 2013 a law against school bullying was introduced. Argentina has a lot of bullying in schools, much more than any other countries in the region, and schools seem to be especially concerned with it.

The Equipo ABA - Anti-Bullying Argentina has what looks like a comprehensive approach to bullying in schools, with institutional support, individual counseling for the bullied and the bullies, as well as support and seminars for teachers. They also offer workshops for kids in schools all over the country.

She will likely have already researched these, but in case she hasn't! This really is important work and I wish her and her kids all the best!
posted by ipsative at 10:28 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This organization came to McGill University (in Montreal) to sensitize future teachers about the realities of (what they call) homoparental families - families with gay/queer members. There's a package dvd set that they gave out FULL of activities for classes. I'm not sure what's available on their site, but I imagine you can find some good resources if you look around.

LGBT Family Coalition
posted by eisforcool at 11:40 AM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The GSLEN organization is based in the US -- they have age-specific lesson plans on bullying and several other resources for educators on their website.
posted by elmay at 4:20 PM on June 15, 2015

I was coming in to recommend the LGBT family coalition. They do a lot of training with teachers and have excellent packages put together. Their material is only available in English or French as far as I know however.
posted by Cuke at 7:52 PM on June 15, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you, I'm sharing it all with her.

English-only materials are fine, she understands English (she's an English teacher).
posted by Promethea at 6:17 AM on June 17, 2015

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