In middle school, it’s hard to be different. It’s even harder if a student identifies as LGBTQ.
This week, a couple of teachers at Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina, decided to enlist the help of some local drag queens to celebrate the unique differences between the school’s students.
Taylor Schmidt, an eighth-grade teacher at the school, and his colleague, Schara Brooks, saw the impact bullying and other negative behavior was having on students in their school who identify as LGBTQ. They said students were even leaving the school because of some of their experiences. In December, the pair pitched a schoolwide event to help students understand what it means to be different.
“Our drive was to remove barriers to success, belonging and the ability to thrive for all students,” Schmidt said. “It called for a hard look at the roots of these behaviors and intentional actions to liberate not just the bullied from oppressive acts, but the bully from the oppressive root causes of their actions.”