Tracker Pixel for Entry

Gay/Straight Alliance Initiative: A call for stories

by Faye Seidler | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | April 5th, 2017

The GSA Initiative is designed to create guidelines for founding new LGBTQ+ support and activity groups within the middle and high school settings in North Dakota. This initiative exists because of the lack of resources I had while going to school in this area and the current lack of resources that our students report.

Our aim is not only to create startup guidelines, but to create a standard policy and procedure for these groups to give them the tools necessary to thrive. Beyond all of that, we hope to create a plethora of resources and materials for the LGBTQ+ students -- things such as how to come out to your family, various activities for fun, LGBTQ+ history workshops, how to be safe in school and at home, and other similar topics.

The Initiative was originally going to kick off with a focus group on the 23rd of May, but that has been canceled due to lack of participation by our school system. For the numbers, the initiative emailed over two hundred principals within North Dakota. It also networked with guidance counsellors throughout our state using the ND School Counsellor website.

Given those numbers we received one response from one principal who only responded to ask to be removed from the email list.

We did have more luck with guidance counsellors, but only heard from four. Each guidance counsellor we heard from was from a rural community and each indicated a desire for this information, citing lack of local resources or guidance.

Based on that response, I don’t think the need for this initiative can be more clear. This is a setback, but we’re not giving up, but we’ll be refocusing our direction. So, instead of doing a large focus group, we’ll be doing individual interviews either through email, phone, or in person, depending on the person’s ability and preference.

While we believe a larger focus group to be very useful and something to explore in the future, we don’t have the numbers today.

Our last article talked about needing people’s help and we still do, but this time we need stories and perspective. We’d love to hear from any LGBTQ+ student in our state about their experiences and what they want from a GSA.

We want to hear from any counsellor, educator, principal, or parent to get their perspective and to establish contact, so we can keep them up-to-date about what we’ve learned.

Finally, If someone is a parent of an LGBTQ+ student, we recommend talking to school counsellors and the principal about taking proactive measures to make sure their child has the support they need in school to thrive.

We encourage people to be directly involved by volunteering their time and talents with this initiative. While it is intended to be a project with a clear start and finish, there is always room for more minds and more skills to continue building on it after its completion. We could especially use individuals gifted at website design to host our finished project as an interactive website rather than a large pdf.

If anyone would like to be involved by sharing information, stories, perspective, talent, or time, please email me at fayeseidler@gmail.com. Given our shift in direction, we hope to develop a rough draft for our comprehensive guide by the middle of June. We will then distribute that guide to anyone interested in editing. After we get our edits back and finalize our project, we’ll be sending it out to every school before the start of the new school year, to make sure they have the tools necessary to address LGBTQ+ needs.

Finally, independent of the project, anyone is welcome to contact me currently for general information about how to start their own GSA. While I don’t have all the information, I’d likely be able to point someone in the right direction.

Aside from that, I also offer transgender cultural competency training for teachers or counsellors and my email is always open to any question related to transgender issues, whether an individual is questioning their gender, looking for resources, or a family member wants to understand the condition better and doesn’t know how to ask.

[Faye Seidler is North Dakota Safe Zone Project Spokeswoman]

Recently in:

Katrina Klett grew up running in fields with bees stinging her bare feet. Her parents constantly reminded her to put on shoes, but she rarely listened. Today, the family company she helps run in Jamestown, Klett Beekeeping, has…

How long have you had your computer monitor? Is it time to get a new one? How do you know if it is time to get a new one? Many people got their monitor bundled with their computer. I don’t have too much to complain about if that…

May 31-June 1Fargo Civic Center 207 4th St N, FargoA platform for you to build your business, your unmanned expertise, or network with fellow enthusiasts. Even more useful, on May 30 and June 2, Part 107 Drone Ground Training…

We’ve just read Mike McFeely’s interview with Governor Burgum, are intrigued by the governor’s vision of the future of higher education; that online courses will largely obviate the need for campuses, tenured faculty, and…

The rich live 20 years longer than the poorSeveral recent incidents in the airline industry are sending messages to the Ninety-Nine Percent around the world. If you can’t hold it, don’t book a flight. A male passenger was…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommends 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

Nine band lineup at The AquariumLocal radio listeners are likely to be familiar with 95.9 Radio Free Fargo, a station devoted to serving the Fargo-Moorhead area and run completely by volunteers. The station plays a little bit of…

Cinema

​Killer serial makes Blu-ray debut

by Christopher P. Jacobs

“Daredevils of the Red Circle.” Who are they? What is it? Before the internet, before television, serialized drama was still a significant part of popular culture. Novels were serialized in magazines and newspapers going back…

Artist Anna Lee brings years of knowledge to Fargo in new workshopsOrganizing and participating in locally-grown fashion shows, years at corporations like Target. And now working as an independent artist, Anna Lee has done it all,…

When we had a chance to catch up with Corey Ruffin, the mastermind behind the Grand Rapids-based traveling burlesque troupe Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, he was at the repair shop getting a tune-up on their tour bus. The retired…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

This Memorial Day weekend, thousands of hands will be reaching into icy cold coolers for a refreshing beer to wet the whistle. Mark Bjornstad, co-founder and president of Drekker Brewing Company hopes that at least once during the…

Wellness

​Gut instinct

by Amber Schmidt

While many of us suffer with the occasional upset stomach, long-term digestive issues can lead to increased problems down the road. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 60 to 70…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

With the recent passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the U.S. House of Representatives, it is important to have an honest and truthful discussion regarding what the AHCA is and what it is not. But before we get into…