Half a dozen New Hampshire educators attended an anti-bullying workshop at Plymouth State University Tuesday.
The session was put on by the New Hampshire chapter of the non-profit GLSEN, a national organization with the goal of making safe schools for LGBTQ students.
Katie Graham teaches English at Sanborn Regional High School and said she appreciated that the workshop allowed for more in-depth conversation between organizers and teachers.
Graham said she was particularly looking forward to learning about how to implement what she learned in her classroom. “How I can make my classroom more safe and inclusive to everyone, not just those of the LGBTQ+ community, but all of my students,” Graham said.
GLSEN New Hampshire Co-Chair Ryan Richman lead discussions on gender terminology and how teachers can address hurtful classroom interactions.
"They'll develop strategies on how they can deal with it in a positive way that creates that cultural change, rather than 'Oh, you have a detention,'" Richman said.
A fellow-educator, Richman and other GLSEN organizers said the goal of the workshop was to give teachers tools so they can make their classrooms more inviting and open. "Ultimately, it's not about taking everything and doing everything right,” Richman said. “Because I don't do everything right all the time. It's about finding those areas where you can pick something and be a little bit better or a little bit more aware.'"
Richman said several schools in New Hampshire have opted to participate in GLSEN's School Climate Survey, which measures student experiences based on bias and bullying. So far though, not enough schools have taken part to have a state-specific report for New Hampshire.