November 4, 2022
At Stokes School we pride ourselves in having an extremely diverse staff, family community and student body. Our founding values push us to create a learning environment committed to social justice, leadership, and achieving excellence. In keeping with that mission, we offered trainings to families and staff this past week that focused on celebrating and discussing LGBTQ+ people. Each one-hour session introduced participants to key concepts and terms, pertinent policies and laws, and provided specific language around discussing gender with children at different ages and developments. Led by Diana Bruce, a leading LGBTQ+ expert and trainer in the K12 space, the trainings centered around how we can best support our LGBTQ+ school community members and help them feel welcomed and included at Stokes School. Staff were also instructed on how to teaching about gender fits within DC Health Education and Physical Education Standards, including ideas for how to address gender conversations into the classroom in an age-appropriate and inclusive manner.
Analyses of national youth risk behavior data indicate that, when supported at school and at home, transgender students exhibit a 71% decrease in severe depression, a 34% decrease in suicide ideation, and 65% decrease in suicidal attempts. With 49% of DC’s transgender teens attempting suicide in the past year, these astounding statistics suggest that affirming our children is not only critical to their achievement in school, but potentially life-saving. Our intention is to start as soon as a Stokes School student enrolls to create a community where everyone feels welcome and safe. We appreciate everyone that attended the event and hope to offer more trainings in the future. If you have any questions or would like to continue the conversation, feel free to reach out to your Campus Director or Director of Teaching and Learning.