Title

Transgender Advocacy in K12 and Post-Secondary Environments

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

For most K12 schools and institutions of higher education, the challenge to support transgender students has been a slow, arduous process. Knowing what has been successful can pave the way for others to meet the needs of transgender students. Participants will learn the process and impediments of implementing equality policies in K12 schools and institutions of higher education in NC.

Description

For most K12 school districts and institutions of higher education, the challenge to support transgender students has be a slow, arduous process. Transgender students continue to face high rates of harassment, discrimination, and other negative events in school related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression of gender (Singh& Kosciw, 2017). These factors can contribute to increased rates of anxiety and depression, absenteeism, poor academic performance, feelings of isolation, and dropping out of school (Goodrich, 2017; Nealy, 2017; McKinney, J. S. (2005).

Awareness of the process and impediments other schools and institutions have experienced can help pave the path for others to meet the physical, social, emotional, and academic needs of transgender students. Many NC K12 school districts and institutions of higher education explicitly include gender identity and expression in their non-discrimination policies and Title IX statements. But how are institutions in NC fairing in meeting the needs of students when NC continues to face the legacy of the infamous “bathroom bill.” We will present an approach developed and implemented in one K12 school district in NC that provides equality for all students and review the challenges presented when a policy for bathroom access was adopted. We will also explore the varying approaches taken by of institutions of higher education in NC to uphold and respect the rights of all students including increased opportunities for transgender students to declare a preferred name and training of faculty and staff on gender diversity.

Evidence

Beemyn, B. (2003). Serving the needs of transgender college students. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, 1(1), 33-50, DOI: 10.1300/J367v01n01_03

Buncombe County Public Schools Board of Education. (2017). Gender support guidelines: Regulation Code: 1710/4021/7230. Retrieved from https://buncombeschools.org/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=4802853

Buncombe County Public Schools Board of Education. (2018). Prohibition against discrimination, harassment and bullying: Policy Code: 1710/4021/7230. Retrieved from https://www.buncombeschools.org/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=5247663

Chang, S. C., Singh, A. A., & dickey, l. m. (2018). A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Goodrich, K.M. (2017). Exploring school counselors’ motivations to work with LGBTQQI students in schools: A Q methodology study. Professional School Counseling, 20 (1a). 5-12.

Graybill, E.C. & Proctor, S. L. (2016). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: Limited representation in school support personnel journals. Journal of School Psychology, 54. 9-16.

Mathers, L., Sumerau, J., & Cragun, R. (2018). The limits of homonormativity: Constructions of bisexual and transgender people in the post-gay era. Sociological Perspectives, 61 (6), 934-952. https://doi-org.proxy195.nclive.org/10.1177/0731121417753370

McCullough, R., Dispenza, F., Parker, L., Viehl, C., Chang, C., & Murphy, T. (2017). The counseling experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming clients. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95 (4), 423-434. doi: 10.1002/jcad.12157

McKinlely, C.J., et. Al. (2015). Reexamining LGBT resources on college counseling center websites: An over-time and cross-country analysis. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43(1), 112-129.

McKinney, J. S. (2005). On the margins: A study of the experiences of transgender college students. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, 3(1), 63-76, DOI: 10.1300/J367v03n01_07

Munoz-Plaza, C., Quinn, S.C., & Rounds, K. A. (2002). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students: Perceived social support in the high school environment. High School Journal, 85 (4). 52-63

Nealy, E. C. (2017). Transgender Children and Youth. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Co.

Paquette, D. (2015). 8 critical facts about the state of transgender America. Washington Post.

Singh, A. A., & Kosciw, J.G. (2017). School counselors transforming schools for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students (Introduction to the special issue). Professional School Counseling, 20 (1a). 1-4.

Stanton, M., Ali, S., & Chaudhuri, S. (2017). Individual, social, and community-level predictors of wellbeing in a US sample of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Culture, Health, & Sexuality, 19 (1), 32-49. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2016.1189596

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Phyllis Robertson (she/her/hers) is a Professor in the Western Carolina University Counseling Program. She earned her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina and teaches courses in cross-cultural counseling and expressive and creative arts in counseling and supervises practicum and internship students. She was a school counselor for 15 years and remains engaged with school districts through service at the regional and state levels. Her research interests are in cross-cultural counseling issues, school counseling practices and professional development, and issues affecting wellness of adolescents.

Alexander Bass (he, him, his) is a graduate student in the MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Western Carolina University. He earned his BS in Biology from Western Carolina University. He has experience working with college freshman who identify as First-Generation, low-income, and those who aged out of foster care. His clinical experience includes working with adolescent males on the Autism spectrum in a boarding school setting and adult men who are in recovery at a sober living transitional program. His research interests are rooted in "at-risk" children and adolescent populations and implications to better all aspects of their well-being.

Dr. Yancey Gulley (he, him, his) is an Associate Professor in Higher Education Student Affairs at Western Carolina University, additionally teaches in the Educational Leadership Program and is the Program Director for the Leadership Minor. He spent 15 years as a college administrator at several institutions around the country, including: Louisburg College, North Carolina State University, Long Beach City College, University of Georgia, and Athens Technical College. He has a long history of advocating for social justice within the educational context contributing to changes in the academy, including the opening of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Resource Center at North Carolina State University. He currently is investigating the experiences of LGBTQ community college students, as well as the experiences of White faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Location

Session Five Breakouts: Embassy Suites Salon B

Start Date

2-8-2020 10:00 AM

End Date

2-8-2020 11:15 AM

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Feb 8th, 10:00 AM Feb 8th, 11:15 AM

Transgender Advocacy in K12 and Post-Secondary Environments

Session Five Breakouts: Embassy Suites Salon B

For most K12 schools and institutions of higher education, the challenge to support transgender students has been a slow, arduous process. Knowing what has been successful can pave the way for others to meet the needs of transgender students. Participants will learn the process and impediments of implementing equality policies in K12 schools and institutions of higher education in NC.