RE: school climate

Darcy Lees (
Tue, 6 Jan 1998 10:08:21 -0800

Call Frieda Takamura at the Washington Education Association and request
a copy of the December, 1997 Safe Schools Report. Her number is

> ----------
> From:[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: Saturday, December 20, 1997 11:34 AM
> Subject: school climate
> To the edequity group:
> It has recently come to my attention that the climate at our town's
> supposedly tolerant, enlightened high school is not what I thought it
> was. I
> have heard that the word "gay" is routinely used as a put-down; that
> girls
> are referred to, both in general and as individuals, as "bitches,"
> sluts,"
> and "whores;" that a lesbian teacher is frequently taunted about her
> sexual
> orientation by students; and that several boys talked openly in one
> class
> about getting all the gays together and burning them. From what I've
> heard,
> while some staff members deal with such behavior swiftly and in no
> uncertain
> terms, others are silent or pretend not to notice.
> I think this is more common than anyone thinks or wants to
> acknowledge, and
> that it is incumbent on the school administration to establish
> expectations
> and protocols that will enable and require the adults in the school to
> deal
> immediately and directly with such behavior, rather than looking the
> other
> create a school climate in which all students feel safe from
> persecution and denigration, and in which those who would persecute
> get the
> message that this will not be tolerated.
> Does anyone out there have any concrete, specific examples of how
> schools
> have dealt positively and successfully with such issues? I am most
> interested
> in approaches that have proven useful *before* such incidents escalate
> to the
> point where the legal system, the media, etc. enter the scene.
> Hoping to hear from folks out there (particularly high school
> students), and
> wishing for a better world in the New Year--
> Kathy Cochran

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