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Counselor, James Lick Middle School

Q. What are you doing to create a safer school community for LGBTQ students?

In the past there was a liason, who wasn’t very active so they approached me and I of volunteered. I accepted this position because I want to take on the issues full force and actually do something about it, other than just talk. We have advisory classes where we talk about organizational skills, health skills and that would be the perfect place to bring in lessons and also work with community agencies like lyric and the LGBT youth center, which are really great organizations.

Q. How has the school climate changed since the beginning of your LGBTQ work?

The climate is definitely changing. The faculty and staff are one-hundred percent on board so, the community agencies we can involve the more we can promote this to adults at the school, as well as students and parents who are interested. I think that’s the key.

Q. What would you like to do better this year?

Some things I would like to see happen that haven’t would be the training of staff, because a lot of teachers come in with their own ideologies and beliefs and I feel like working in a public school you kind of need to not be taught but just have to have an open mind. So I think that would be the first step. To see the discrimination, the name calling and the way LGBT people are teens and people in general are treated in this country, and educate the educators on these issues. I would also like to develop a GSA club where students can go and feel safe to talk. We need to have assemblies and make it a school-wide thing, so it’s engrained.

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Quote - “Treat everyone like you love them, even if they are different.” - 12th grader, School of the Arts High School

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