Op-ed: Speak out against mistreatment of LGBTQ+ people

Eleanor Kanerva
Contributing Writer

Students are taking initiative to inform teachers and staff of the harmful impacts misgendering someone may have and why it’s important to respect that person’s pronouns.

About the topic, transgender junior Kaz Bergmann said, “There have been several times where a teacher has misgendered me on accident and then not acknowledge the incident at all….When you ignore a students identity, you ignore their presence in the classroom. It is always important to recognize when you misgender someone, apologize, and then move on, so it can be frustrating when you have to tell a teacher on several occasions that you don’t use the pronouns that they have given you.”

A Florida law has been signed into law that would restrict teachers from discussing gender and sexuality within the classroom from grades K-3.

TIME reported, “State Rep. Joe Harding, a Republican who introduced the bill into the state House, tells TIME the intention of the bill is to keep parents ‘in the know and involved on what’s going on’ with their child’s education.”

Bergmann states, “Schools are supposed to provide a support system for all of their students. Part of that is making students feel heard and welcome.”

This would be difficult for schools to do if they were prohibited from teaching or speaking about gender and sexuality.

The Florida law would limit how LGBTQ+ community members are able to express themselves. It would take away these students’ protections and it would prove to be harmful to these students.

Bergmann puts it simply. “The fact is that gay people, trans people and allies exist all around us, and by not teaching people about them, you are doing them a disservice. Teach kids to not be ashamed of who they are.”

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