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In my class, students present current events once a week. I have an 8th grade student who is gay. Today, he presented his current event on Jason Collins (the NBA player who recently came out). My student said he was happy to have Jason as a role model because he too is gay. I could not be more proud of my student for standing up in front of his peers and sharing something so personal. He had this great sense of relief and pride when he finished. The class was very respectful of him.
I also wanted to share a news story that goes along with it. LeRoy Butler is a former player for the Green Bay Packers. He recently tweeted support for Jason Collins. As a result, his speaking engagement at a local church was cancelled. Now, I completely respect that the church has the right to choose who speaks at their church and who does not. However, I find it ironic that his speech was supposed to be about anti-bullying and being inclusive and the church was not being open-minded.
Obviously you are doing something right as a teacher since that student felt your classroom was a safe place to share something so personal. I wish EVERY classroom could be structured to be a safe, nurturing environment like yours!