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ERIC Number: EJ1124040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
The Professional Educator: How I Support LGBTQ+ Students at My School
Hsu, Taica
American Educator, v40 n4 p20-22 Win 2016-2017
Professional educators--in the classroom, library, counseling center, or anywhere in between--share one overarching goal: ensuring all students receive the rich, well-rounded education they need to be productive, engaged citizens. In this regular feature, "American Educator" explores the work of professional educators--their accomplishments and their challenges--so that the lessons they have learned can benefit students across the country. Listening to the professionals who do this work every day is a blueprint for success. This issue features Taica Hsu, who teaches mathematics and serves as the faculty advisor for the Queer Straight Alliance at Mission High School in the San Francisco Unified School District. Hsu writes that while she always wanted to become a teacher, she had no idea that one day she'd serve as an advisor to the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). Hsu has been the school's GSA advisor for nearly 10 years, and has found the experience incredibly rewarding. She believes a Gay-Straight Alliance empowers students to stand up for who they are, and students make the group their own. The members take on leadership positions and take ownership of the club and it has become a very supportive space for many students. This article discusses the many ways the GSA supports students by providing education programs for students, and faculty, maintaining the group's visibility on campus, and giving teachers tools to more effectively intervene when a student says something homophobic, racist or sexist in class. Because of the Alliance's influence, teachers are increasingly engaging with students around their language so that all students feel safe. Teachers have gotten better at handling difficult situations, and instead of simply ignoring them, they are helping students understand that discriminatory language is part of a system of oppression, in which people sometimes unintentionally participate but they can break free and change that behavior pattern.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (San Francisco)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A