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A School Counselor’s Role in Reducing Homophobic Victimization. Holly Shepherd M.Ed Counselor Education ‘14, University of Virginia.

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a school counselor s role in reducing homophobic victimization

A School Counselor’s Role in Reducing Homophobic Victimization

Holly Shepherd

M.Ed Counselor Education ‘14,

University of Virginia

slide2

“By raising the level of conversation regarding issues of sexual orientation and implementing supports for LGBT students at multiple levels, school counselors can shepherd their schools toward meaningful and responsible change and their students toward further acceptance and opportunity.” (Depaul, Walsh, & Dam, 2009)

current news
Current News
  • 2011: United Nations Human Rights Council

approves resolution to include LGBT youth in

International Human Rights Law

  • 5/2012: Bill 13 in Ontario; requires schools to

allow students to form GSA in public and Catholic

schools

  • 8/2012: “Anti-Bullying Yardstick Policy” discourages schools from addressing bullying based on specific characteristics
  • 9/2012: The School Board of Broward County, Florida is the first to support LGBT history month; 6th largest school district in country
  • 9/2012: Intel stopped donating money to Boy Scouts because of anti-gay policy
  • 10/2012: California governor passes bill banning “reparative” therapy for minors
  • 11/2012: Celina High School, Ohio students forced to remove pro-gay t-shirts
  • 11/2012: Jamaican University; 2 gay men attacked
  • 11/15/2012: Anti-gay attack on UVA student on campus
homosexual identity formation cass 1979
Homosexual Identity Formation Cass (1979)
  • Stage 1: Identity confusion
  • Stage 2: Identity comparison
  • Stage 3: Identity tolerance
  • Stage 4: Identity acceptance
  • Stage 5: Identity pride
  • Stage 6: Identity synthesis
principles of society

Towbin, Haddock, Zimmerman, Lund, and Tanner(2003)

Principles of Society
  • Films: Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, etc
  • Male characters in the films were showcased to use physical means to express emotions, be naturally strong, have non-domestic jobs, and have no control over their sexuality.
  • Female characters appear to place an emphasis on their physical appearance, display a sense of helplessness, and engage in domestic roles related to marriage
  • Absence of homosexual characters in all films
school climate survey 1999 2009

GLSEN

School Climate Survey (1999-2009)

LGBT Student Experience

Sexual orientation: 84.6%verbally harassed; 40.1% physically harassed; 18.8%physically assaulted

Gender expression: 63.7%verbally harassed; 27.2%physically harassed; 12.5%physically assaulted

72.4%heard homophobic remarks (i.e. “faggot,” “dyke”)

61.1%felt unsafe

29.1%LGBT students missed class because of safety concerns (compared to 8.0% secondary school students)

30%LGBT students missed whole days because of safety concerns (compared to 6.7% secondary school students)

GPA of LGBT students who were frequently harassed was half a grade lower than students less often harassed

Increased levels of victimization correlated with increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem

96%LGBT students who missed school related to higher levels of victimization, but higher levels of psychological well-being

44.6%reported having a Gay-Straight Alliance at school

school climate survey continued
School Climate Survey, Continued

School Climate Over Time

Reported Positive Interventions and Support

Gay-Straight Alliance

Supportive Staff

Anti-bullying policy based on sexual orientation

Decline of hearing homophobic remarks from 2005-2009

Experiences of harassment remained constant

Decline in harassment from 2007-2009

Increase of LGBT-related resources available

victimized lgbt student s experience
Victimized LGBT Student’s Experience

Depression and anxiety

Nonattendance

Social isolation

Loss of self-esteem and confidence

Social dissatisfaction

Suicidal ideation and behaviors

Fear of peer and parent rejection

Feelings of guilt and shame

Harassment

School-phobia

Self-harming tendencies

Inability to concentrate

Lower levels of academic achievement

Withdrawal

Substance abuse

Timidity

strategies for social justice change
Strategies for Social Justice Change
  • Political savvy: knowing how and when to intervene
  • Raising consciousness
  • Initiating difficult dialogues
  • Building intentional relationship: forming positive working relationships with others in their school communities
  • Teaching students self-advocacy skills
  • Use data for marketing
  • Educating others about school counselor’s role as advocate
  • LGBT students who can identify a supportive staff member are more likely to feel safe and achieve academic success
the asca model delivery system
The ASCA Model: Delivery System

School counselors have been educated and trained to be “advocates, leaders, collaborators, and consultants who create opportunities for equity in access and success” (ASCA)

indirect student services
Indirect Student Services
  • Institutional level
    • Administration and management of school counseling program to include LGBT issues
      • Strategic, long-term planning
    • Include sexual orientation in nondiscriminatory policy (i.e. “Safe Schools Policy”)
indirect services continued
Indirect Services, Continued
  • Advocate for modification in higher education curriculum
    • Professionals experience lack of preparation to work with LGBT population
    • Educate teachers and school administration about LGBT issues
      • Conduct continuing education workshops
  • Community Outreach
    • Consultation and collaboration with stakeholders
    • Partner with community agencies
      • Can provide expertise, training, and professional development
direct student services
Direct Student Services
  • Targeted Prevention
    • Seeks to prevent chronic and predictable risks caused by various factors
  • Create structured developmental lessons: introduce resources and skill building activities to support LGBT youth
  • Conduct psychoeducation with students, families, and caregivers
    • Hold parent meetings
    • Teach history of social and cultural understandings of sexual orientation
    • Focus on cultural strengths
ally 101 workshop
Ally 101 Workshop
  • To provide understanding about what an Ally is
  • To increase belief of why Allies are important
  • To encourage effective Ally behavior

Ally: (n.) An ally is a member of a privileged group who takes a stand against oppression. An ally works to be a part of social change rather than being part of the oppression.

where do you stand as an ally

www.allyweek.org

Where do you stand as an Ally?
  • STEP INTO THE CIRCLE IF YOU HAVE HEARD PEOPLE SAY “THAT’S SO GAY” OR “NO HOMO” IN SCHOOL.
  • YOU’VE HEARD PEOPLE MAKE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT SOMEONE’S GENDER AT SCHOOL, BEING CALLED A SISSY, BEING TOLD TO STOP ACTING TOO MUCH LIKE A BOY, ETC.
  • STEP INTO THE CIRCLE IF YOU DON’T FEEL YOU CAN BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION AT SCHOOL WITHOUT THE THREAT OF BEING BULLIED OR HARASSED.
  • STEP INTO THE CIRCLE IF YOU HAVE BEEN HARASSED BECAUSE OF YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY.
  • STEP INTO THE CIRCLE IF YOU DON’T FEEL YOU CAN BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER IDENTITY OR EXPRESSION AT SCHOOL WITHOUT THE THREAT OF BEING BULLIED OR HARRASSED.
  • STEP INTO THE CIRCLE IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN HARASSED BECAUSE OF THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY.
gay straight alliance gsa
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)

School counselors can provide support and guidance to teachers and students as they seek to form alliances. They can help promote dialogue.

Tips for starting a GSA at your school!

http://youtu.be/VMWCSTh6nIU?hd=1

crisis intervention
Crisis Intervention
  • Applying person-centered techniques to LGBT youth
    • Self-directed client growth through a discovery process
    • School counselor creates a safe environment
    • Congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathy
  • Modifications to traditional approach
    • Address social and cultural influences
    • Support groups/figures
back to school guide

www.glsen.org

Back-To-School Guide
  • Display LGBT-inclusive materials
  • Incorporate LGBT materials into curriculum
  • Teach about RESPECT
  • Support LGBT student clubs
  • Participate in Day of Silence, Ally Week, No Name-Calling week, etc.
  • START TALKING
resources for school counselors
Resources for School Counselors
  • Gslen.org
  • Youthallies.com
  • Thinkb4youspeak.com
  • Safeschoolscoalition.org
  • Gsanetwork.org
  • Matthewshepard.org
  • Apa.org
  • Campuspride.org
  • Lgbtcenters.org
  • Pointfoundation.org
  • Thetrevorproject.org
references
References

Adams, N., Cox, T., & Dunstan, L. (2004). “I am the hate that dare not speak its name”: Dealing with homophobia in secondary schools. Educational Psychology in Practice. 20(3), 259-269. doi: 10.1080/0266736042000251826

DePaul, J., Walsh, M., & Dam, U. (2009). The role of school counselors in addressing sexual orientation in school. Professional School Counseling, 12(4), 300-308.

Espelage, D., Aragon, S. R., Birkett, M., & Koenig, B. W. (2008). Homophobic teasing, psychological outcomes, and sexual orientation among high school students: What influence do parents and schools have? School Psychology Review. 37(2), 202-216.

Goodrich, K. M. & Luke, M. (2009). LGBTQ responsive school counseling. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling. 3, 113-127. doi: 10.1080/15538600903005284

Graybill, E. C., Varjas, K., Meyers, J., & Watson, L. B. (2009). Content-specific strategies to advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: An exploratory study. School Psychology Review. 38(4), 570-584.

Luke, M., Goodrich, K. M, & Scarborough, J. L. (2011). Integration of the K-12 LGBTQI student population in counselor education curricula: The current state of affairs. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling. 5(2), 80-101. doi: 10.1080/15538605.2011.574530

Moe, J. L., Leggett, E. S., & Perera-Diltz, D. (2011). School counseling for systemic change: Bullying and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Ideas and Research You Can Use: VISTAS 2011, 81. 1-11.

Poteat, V. P., Mereish, E. H., DiGiovanni, C. D., & Koenig, B. W. (2011). The effects of general and homophobic victimization on adolescents’ psychosocial and educational concerns: The importance of intersecting identities and parent support. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 58(4), 597-609. doi: 10.1037/a0025095

Robinson, K. (2010). A study of young lesbian and gay people’s school experiences. Educational Psychlogy in Practice. 26(4), 331-351. doi:10.1080/02667363.2010.521308

Singh, A., Urbano, A., Haston, M., & McMahon, E. (2010). School counselors’ strategies for social justice change: A grounded theory of what works in the real world. Professional School Counseling. 13(3), 135-145.

Valenti, M. & Campbell, R. (2009). Working with youth on LGBT issues: Why gay-straight alliance advisors become involved. Journal of Community Psychology. 37(2), 228-248. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20290

Williams, T., Connolly, J., Pepler, D., & Craig, W. (2005). Peer victimization, social support, and psychosocial adjustment of sexual minority adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34(5), 471-482. doi: 10.1007/s10964-005-7264-x