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 What do you do when a student "comes out" with you 
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I hope to have the sort of classroom enviroment that my students feel comfortable and safe. As a result, I believe that they will tell me personal things. I need to be prepared for these sorts of things, so my question is ... when a student "comes out" to me, what should I say? Is he/she only looking for support, or are they looking for approval. I am not sure how I feel about the issue, but I want to be supportive and non-judgemental. Any thoughts?

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Kristi Jones


Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:36 pm
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I was thinking about this last night during class. I wondered how I would react. I have decided that it would be best to let the student know that I am glad they feel confortable enough to tell me. I would also let them know that it takes courage to admit to others that you are different. I would point out that though I do not choose to live the same "lifestyle" it is not my role in this life to judge others. My job is to teach, prepare, support, and guide. I would hope this approach would maintain any confidentiality and at the same time show support without criticism.

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Annette Bostain


Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:32 pm
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I would even go as far to say that the student isn't really looking for support or approval, I think it is much more basic than that. Simple acceptance that they are still a living breating being with feelings. Kids in middle school may be paralyzed by the fear that if they come out, the whole world will turn their back on them. If you are the first person they tell, they may just be looking for a very basic 'that's ok--you're still my student' attitude. It's like they are teetering on the edge of a lind mine; as long as nothing blows up the first time, maybe things will be alright. Just small victories like that will bolster their confidence for future confrontations, like with parents or classmates.

I think the problem may come later, like when more of your class knows. Then you will need to run interference if people are making your out students life miserable.


Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:43 pm
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I think that most boys would come out to a women before they would to a male teacher. Most male teachers are sports coaches, and the students will probably think that the male teachers will look down on them. Women have a better reputation for dealing with emotions and relationship type problems. i don't think I will have to worry about it, but if I have a student "come out" to me I hope I handle it the right way.

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William Shehan


Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:57 pm
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That's a tough situation to handle. I think comforting them on the issue of them "coming out" is what they are looking for. Not saying that I would support it, just comfort. Does that make sense?


Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:29 am
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I want to be able to offer calm, respectful, reassuring support. I would be honored to have a student feel comfortable enough with me to share this. This class has really reconfirmed the importance preparing ourselves for many different aspects and issues within our society that will surface in our classrooms. Public school is a microcosm for our society's macrocosm.

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good day, britta anne atkins-gramer


Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:55 am
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Anonymous wrote:
I would hope to be supportive but I agree with Alice; I think most students coming out initially want to unburden and to be told "it is okay, you are not a freak or a bad person." Beyond that I would hope to be ready with literature and resources that could help the student.
Jennifer T. again.

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Jennifer Thomas


Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:16 pm
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I do think that eventually we all will experience something like that and I'm not sure that there are any specific guidelines to follow it would mainly depend on the student - but it is a big deal for the student on a mental health level at least because they said it aloud maybe for the first time. As far as any action to be taken once again I think that it would depend on the student and how personable you are with your kids. I'm sure that when and if the time comes you'll do a great job:).

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Charity Bailey


Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:59 pm
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I do want to be a confidant for my students. I want them to know that I'm there for them if something is wrong. If a student would come out to me then I would tell them that I understand and I would not judge them. I would not tell them that they are wrong or right. I would support the student but I do knot know if I would have enough of the answers that the student would want.

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Johnny Morris


Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:15 pm
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