The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 04, 2019 1:00 am


LGBT-inclusive curriculum would knock down barriers

Our students are struggling. Some more than others, and in more ways than just academically. Many struggle mentally and emotionally, to the point that they attempt to take their own lives to escape this suffering.

But there is a demographic that experiences this at a much higher rate than just about any other: LGBT youth. One third of all high schoolers who identify as part of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community have attempted suicide. Nationwide, that's hundreds of thousands of teenagers.

But before we can look at a solution, we must first identify the cause.

LGBT high school students are the subjects of intense bullying and harassment of every kind: Verbal, physical, online and even sexual. Many lack support systems, their families having rejected them for being LGBT. Many are too afraid to speak up about their struggles, afraid of what would happen to them should people find out.

These students need help, and the best place to get them that help is school. If schools establish LGBT-inclusive curriculum, this would help these students tremendously. Such curriculum would help LGBT students build their community, a place for them to find the help and support they need from those who have gone through the same struggles. It would also help remedy the problem of bullying within schools, as it is shown that such education supports understanding and connections between students.

I understand that this curriculum may make some uncomfortable. But that discomfort is exactly why this curriculum should be included in schools. That discomfort is a barrier that must be overcome if we are to help these students in any meaningful way, and this education will help knock that barrier down, and create a safer, more accepting environment for our LGBT students.

Elizabeth Roberts

Fort Wayne

North Side dance instructor offers lesson of expression

Dancing creates a space for everyone who needs to express themselves in ways that words or a painting never could. It's a physical representation of how a person is feeling in that moment, or purely of the fact that they just wanted to move.

One person helping create that space is Kara Wilson, a dance teacher at North Side High School. She has held dance workshops for numerous years, teaching at North Side outside of school hours during the summer and winter seasons. The workshops are open to everyone who is willing to learn and help create a good environment with positive reinforcement with movement.

There are four to five dance teachers or instructors, and between each hour they teach people who come different styles of dancing. This includes hip hop, jazz, contemporary, musical theater and modern. Kara Wilson teaches some of these styles at the workshops herself.

It's not every day that a regular person can take the time out to just dance for fun, let alone have adequate space and sound to help project. Wilson gives that opportunity to anyone who is willing.

Brendon Sanderlin

Fort Wayne

Hamilton faced excessive scrutiny; sound familiar?

In 1793, Alexander Hamilton was secretary of the treasury. A new Congress was elected, including many of Hamilton's political enemies.

This Congress initiated an inquest of Hamilton, asking for every scrap of paper from Hamilton relating to Treasury operations. They demanded three meetings every week, which Hamilton was required to attend.

Hamilton was exhausted with this monumental addition to his responsibilities, along with a previous illness he had experienced. Despite extensive time spent and numerous charges brought against him, it was determined no wrongdoing had occurred by Hamilton, and all charges were dismissed.

It was, however, discovered that chief prosecutor Albert Gallatin had violated the law, and Gallatin was forced to resign from the Senate. Is history repeating itself?

Robert Beatty

Fort Wayne

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