Impact of bias and discrimination on children, families, and communities.
In the 21st century, it is not uncommon to hear of gay marriages and families. In some countries, it is legal, and for some, it is not. The union is legalized; gay people can have children by birth, adoption, or surrogate. Gay families have challenges like any other. However, the process of integration into schools, churches, and getting jobs is still challenging. Bliss and Harris (1998) say that for most parents, it is easier not to come out for them so that their children cannot be discriminated against at school.
The basis of this paper is the early childhood professional center where Thabisa is teaching and her student named Dana, who has two gay fathers. This paper tries to study what can early childhood professionals do to promote acceptance of children from gay families. What would have Thabisa done during class to ensure that Dana did not feel different or was not treated differently by the other children? There has never been a case of grownup intervention in San Francisco area schools where homophobic comments have been made in school compounds (Pellisser, 2000).
Importance of promoting acceptance
Professionals in early childhood development institutions play an essential role in the growth of a child. Their contributions dictate if the child will be confident or not if the child will have basic skills such as respect or courtesy. They are the first people to interact with a child after their parents.
First, the job of the teacher is to inform her students. Children do not know, and they come to school to learn. The teachers can teach these pupils about the LGBT community and their families. They can educate the other classmates that not all family structures are the same with a mother and father, but they are still a family.
Secondly, teachers are the parent’s support system in the upbringing of a child. In the LGBT community, people face discrimination and judgment all the time. The grownups are used to this kind of treatment, but what happens to their children while they are in school. Teachers then have to support these children, make them vital to face these challenges. They also need to caution and educate the other students on acceptance of gay people. This will result in a future generation that is more open-minded and accepting of those who are different.
The third is the role of teachers in the emotional development of the child. In early childhood development, the children are fragile emotionally. They can be wired to knowing what is right and wrong depending on their teacher. These lessons will form the basis of the child’s thinking for their entire lifetime. Therefore, at this point, it is essential to teach children not to discriminate against others irrespective of family background, race, financial status, and the LGBT community. To achieve all these, the teachers can employ some of the measures discussed below.
Teachers need to know the children in their classroom and if any of them have gay parents or not. If they present, they can research online on the dos and don’ts. They can also interact with these parents personally to know where the children are better and if they are comfortable speaking about their families. Then the teacher will interact easily with the child at school, and the child will know that they can come to them if they ever want to talk.
Creating a gay-friendly school community
Have diversity training for staff and students in the school using the resource module tackling gay issues in school (Mitchell, 1999). The staff can be asked not to tolerate any form of homophobic harassment in the school compound. Gay parents can be invited to school to speak on specific days to ensure that the students are informed. Create resources in the school library that talk about the LGBT community and the issues they face.
Bliss, G K.,& Harris, M. B. (1998). Experience of gay and lesbian teachers and parents with coming out in a school setting. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 8(2).
Mitchell, L. (Ed.). (1999). Tackling gay issues in school: A resource module. Bridgeport: GLSEN Connecticut and Planned Parenthood of Connecticut.
Pellisser, H. (2000, October 5). Nobody does it better.
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