Middle School Gender Neutral Alliance and Youth-Led Gender Sensitivity Training
Middle school students at Capital City PCS and educators Lapeta Solomon and Amanda Yeager have formed the school's first Gender Neutral Alliance. Solomon is the 8th Grade Inclusion Humanities teacher at Capital City Public Charter School and a 2018 Education First, SEL Innovation Award winner for her work in founding the MS Gender Neutral Alliance and Gender Sensitivity Training for teachers and staff.
On Friday, April 12, students gathered in a room decorated with vibrant LGBT and nonbinary flags, colorful snacks, and joyful music. Reviewing the group norms for their community, the group welcomed all visitors with introductions including their names, grades, and pronouns.
The creation of a Gender Neutral Alliance will allow for a place to bond and build school cultural and awareness. The MS Gender Neutral Alliance culminating activity will be the designing and decorating of a float that will participate in the D.C. LGBTQI PRIDE parade in June 2019.
The Under the Rainbow agenda included student-let planning for their No Name Calling initiative. Students shared the impact of misgendering a person and the hurtfulness of slurs. Designing shirts that read: I'm so gay* for you; the back of the shirt centers this work, with a clarifying asterisk that reads, *happy.
Students facilitated working groups around planning and logistics for their float creation, professional development design for the 'No Name Calling' school-wide initiative, and ways to further outreach within their school community. Creating a 'gaygenda', the student groups presented their plans for gender sensitivity training for their educators and peers, including introductions and history of the LGBT+ community.
Photos from Event
Interested in joining this group during Capital Pride Alliance's Pride Parade?
The DC Area Educators for Social Justice will march alongside these students and educators on June 8th and invite you to register.