How to Build an Affirming Classroom in the Face of Anti-Trans Legislation

Posted by Julie Halterman on April 19, 2022

During the 2021-2022 school year, legislation has been enacted across the country that targets transgender people, and as educators, we at Facing History are particularly concerned about the impact this legislation has on the lives of transgender students. We believe deeply in affirming the identity of all students and creating classrooms that are inclusive, welcoming, and foster belonging. While we are quickly approaching the end of the school year, it is never too late in the year to build community, offer students opportunities to express themselves, and ask students to share feedback with you on their experience in your classroom. The following resources can help you continue to build an affirming, welcoming class community for your students, especially trans and non-binary students, as the school year ends and to plan ahead for the next school year.

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Topics: LGBTQ, transgender

On Existing - A personal reflection

Posted by Facing History Staff on March 31, 2022

One of my clearest memories of discovering how much I loved to read is of sprinting through Shel Silverstein’s poetry collections. I remember how delighted I was to learn that he had written many, how fascinated I was to understand that “author” was a job some adults in fact had. That, just like my parents who went to work everyday, authors like Shel wrote and got paid. I started filling my own notebooks with illustrations and the prose of an eight-year-old. Later, learning that Shel Silverstein was Jewish, just like me, made me weigh some of his words differently. It was my first understanding of what writing as a minority might look like. I was hooked. 

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Topics: Identity, In the news, LGBTQ, reflection, transgender

Anti-Trans Legislation: How We Got Here and Why it Matters

Posted by R.R. Rubin and Kaitlin Smith on March 25, 2022

Beginning in 2021, we have seen a wave of anti-transgender legislation sweeping the country and having a particularly strong impact on transgender youth in schools. From coast to coast, social, cultural, and institutional support systems that make it possible for transgender people to navigate our world are increasingly becoming criminalized. The impact on young trans people in schools is becoming more visible, however, and points to a crucial opportunity for educators to make space for trans students—starting with deepening their knowledge of this critical subject.

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Topics: LGBTQ, transgender

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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