Amia Tyrae Berryman. Say her name. Say her name. The media didn’t. They used the name she was given at birth when her sex was assigned male, in an article on her murder. On March 26, 2018, she became the seventh trans woman to be killed this year, and the fourth Black trans woman.
What if the mightiest word is love? / Love beyond marital, filial, national, / love that casts a widening pool of light, / love with no need to pre-empt grievance. / In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, / any thing can be made, any sentence begun. / On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp, / praise song for walking forward in that light. - Elizabeth Alexander, “Praise Song for the Day” (A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration)
This poem, ending with these words, opened today’s Multicultural Educators Forum, hosted annually by The Fenn School. We were invited to reflect on it quietly to ourselves, and in that silence, I committed myself once again to the twin importance of acting out of love and ensuring we are not merely walking in that light but are genuinely walking forward in that light.
The headline may have been overstated, as headlines can sometimes be: “Georgia Legislators Admit It: 'Religious Liberty' Bill Is About Anti-Gay Discrimination.” But the general drift was accurate. Concerned about the true intents and purposes of a bill under debate, a moderate Republican introduced an amendment clarifying that the bill should not be interpreted as legalizing discrimination. As reported by Mark Joseph Stern, “Conservative representatives cried foul, asserting that an anti-discrimination amendment would defeat the purpose of the bill.” Such a bill has actually passed in Indiana, sparking protests and boycotts.
When progress reports are due, I’ve developed a comfortable routine of going from McCusker’s to Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters to Bread Euphoria to Starbucks to Rao’s back to Starbucks and so on until all my skills assessments and narrative comments are done and I’m ready to return to school and enter them in FileMaker. So each fall, when I see the first announcement of the GLSEN-Massachusetts Educators’ Retreat and it falls right at winter midterms, I feel - conflicted. Sad. This year, however, I simply decided it was by far my best opportunity to meet, learn from, and network with educators who, whether or not they personally are LGBTQ etc., want to support our students who are. So, with some trepidation at what I was taking on, I set out for Provincetown right after classes on Friday with my trusty laptop and a few changes of clothes.
Spirit Week is always one of the highlights of the SBS year, from the traditional "Pajama Day" on Monday right through the traditional "Color Wars" skits on Friday. Wednesday is usually "Spirit Day" (we wear blue and white and/or SBS clothing). Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, change around from year to year, providing a nice blend of tradition and routine on the one hand, and freshness and innovation on the other.
Filed Under: Middle School, School Happenings, gender, On Education, Bill Ivey, community, diversity, Feminism, In the Classroom, LGBTQIA Support, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Anti-Bullying, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School