Safe Zone?

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delta_geek:
The purpose of the Safe Zones programs I'm familiar with was not "converting" people into being supportive, but providing a way for people who were supportive to show that support.  It seems rather a perversion of the whole concept to require folks to participate.

tollhouse:
Quote from: flyingbison on February 01, 2013,  2:06:29 PM

Quote from: tollhouse on February 01, 2013,  2:06:31 AM


Could someone explain to me why I need training in this?  
Students are students are students... whether they are gay, straight, purple, disabled, short, etc.



I think you have answered your own question.


Actually you proved my point.


I treat students the same no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability they have.  I teach and I care about each and every student. If something gets in the way of them succeeding, I address how to help if they choose to talk with me.  If a student is troubled because they are struggling with "coming out" or a student was troubled because they are going through a divorce or a student is troubled because they are questioning their religious belief after partying all semester, I speak with them, empathetically listen, and offer to walk with them to the counseling center... because I am not a counselor.

If other students were acting out against another student, regardless if it was because of race, gender, or sexual orientation, I would put a stop to it.  It doesn't matter what the issue is, it is about equal acceptance and treatment.

If I am told by the disability center or the counseling center that a student needs an accommodation to learn and succeed in my classes, I follow the guidelines.  If the students wants to talk with me about it, that is fine, if not that is ok too... but I don't otherwise treat students differently.

Example: I purchased dinner one evening for my class.  Before ordering, I asked the whole class if there were "any special food issues."  I did not call out the vegetarians or the diabetics specifically... I asked everyone.  

My job as an educator and my caring don't change because of race, sexual orientation, gender, or any identity people choose to own..

 

7ate9:
tollhouse, since you don't appear to be opposed to the idea of equity, it might be useful to not to think of mandatory training as a punishment for doing something wrong. It is probably just an opportunity to learn more strategies to keep doing what you're already doing right. (But it does seem a bit backwards, as delta_geek says, to train people who don't want to be trained and then label them "safe" supports for students.)

In my example 2, above, suppose your problem premise was that Robert and Abdul are sewing their Halloween costumes together: X yards of fabric A, Y yards of fabric B, wacky mathematical fun begins. If one of your students responded "that's so gay!" and another rebutted "no, Muslims aren't allowed to be gay," you've said you would put a stop to that kind of behaviour (good). But how would you do it?

Similarly, what do you say to students on the way to the counselling centre? How would your colleagues do it? Can you learn something by comparing notes?


(I suppose this is an odd place to jump into the fora; I've just not had anything useful to add before now. So here I am.)

tuxedo_cat:
Quote from: delta_geek on February 01, 2013,  2:29:50 PM

The purpose of the Safe Zones programs I'm familiar with was not "converting" people into being supportive, but providing a way for people who were supportive to show that support.  It seems rather a perversion of the whole concept to require folks to participate.


Yeah, me too.  The reasons a campus (or just your dept?) might require everyone to attend such training might be that there has been a significant case of discriminatory behavior against a GLBTQ student.  The training might serve as a protective legal maneuver, or it might have been required as part of a legal judgment in the wake of an episode.  Who knows.

In any case, I suppose you have (at least) a couple options:  (1) you can go in a spirit of resentment and spend 3 hours on your smartphone tuning out the whole thing or. . . (2) you can go in with the expectation that you will learn something you didn't know about the experiences of GLBTQ folks (which is pretty high), and then when you have the occasion in the future to put that knowledge to good use for the welfare of a student, you can be glad that you went in with an open mind.

flyingbison:
Quote from: tollhouse on February 01, 2013,  7:19:25 PM


I treat students the same no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability they have.  


You're clearly a model citizen with nothing to learn about other groups.  Perhaps you should volunteer to lead the training.

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