Intersections: Emerging

February 24, 2018 by Bill Ivey

“I am not a pretty girl. That is not what I… do.” - ani difranco

It’s 10 days after Parkland and, while some of the initial rawness has subsided, I know many teachers who are still having difficulty sleeping, having nightmares when they do get to sleep, crying on basically a daily basis. While one of my colleagues and I were discussing actions the kids here are resolving to take, she told me, choking back tears, “I just feel so helpless.” My office mate and I had a long conversation yesterday in which she pointed out she was so young when Columbine happened that she can’t remember a time when we didn’t have to worry about school shootings. She’s profoundly angry about that, and goodness knows I would be.

Filed Under: intersectionality, social justice, media, Feminism, StudentVoice, Student support, Intersections, gun violence, school shootings, Student Activism, Nevetheless she persisted

Intersections: Something We Create Together

February 18, 2018 by Bill Ivey

“The idea that only special people can create change is useful if you want to prevent mass movements and keep change from happening.” (Lyn Mikel Brown)

“Maybe the kids will save us.” It’s a phrase I periodically and not infrequently hear among teachers, along with “They give me hope.” I’ve said it myself - just two days ago, in fact - and no doubt will continue to, because I do firmly believe it. And on that horrible Wednesday, when the last Rock Band group of the night smiled and thanked me and walked out the door laughing together and there was nothing left to enable me to wall off my emotions about the news from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, one of my first responses was to turn immediately back to the kids. I asked Windsor’s permission to post her beautiful and powerful All School email to our blog, and she quickly and graciously agreed. It has become our most widely read blog post ever, and for good reason.

Filed Under: Feminism, girls' school, StudentVoice, feminist school, gun violence, school shootings

What can we do...?

February 14, 2018 by Guest Student Author

Hello SBS community, 

Earlier this school year, I gave a speech in class meeting about gun violence and the Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. As a united class, we wrote emails to our state officials, senators, and representatives, asking what their plan of action was, to protect the lives of citizens and anyone in the United States. 

Filed Under: StudentVoice, Student Writing, Safe Schools, gun violence, school shootings

Stoneleigh-Burnham Women on the March

January 27, 2018 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

by Celine Nader

Here at Stoneleigh-Burnham, our mission statement is both descriptive of what is, and aspirational, considering what we hope will be. We talk about fostering voice, choice, and agency in our students here at SBS — and I feel confident that this is, by and large, quite effective.

Filed Under: girls' education, Feminism, StudentVoice, feminist school, student agency, Women's March

Intersections: The Pause that Refreshes

January 24, 2018 by Bill Ivey

“If you went to the Women’s March, could you please come up front with me?” said Celine Nader as she prepared to start a presentation in housemeeting. Interspersed with her beautiful words (included here in her blog post) were the students’ own thoughts. They loved the march for its sense of a diverse community coming together in support of each other. One student specifically mentioned she loved the intersectionality, the acknowledgement of race and of the fact that the rally was being held on land that was known as Pocumtuck for thousands of years before colonists renamed it Greenfield. Another student said that it’s wonderful that we cultivate and support girls’ voices here but that it’s also important to take them out into the world, and this march gave us a chance to do that.

Filed Under: Feminism, StudentVoice, feminist school, Women's March

Essay on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Be Somebody" Speech

January 18, 2018 by Guest Student Author

by Ember L.

Filed Under: anti-racism, StudentVoice, Student work, Student Writing

The Future

January 16, 2018 by Guest Student Author

By Mia Mullings

Filed Under: Poetry, Martin Luther King Day, StudentVoice, Student work, Student Writing, Poem

Should we teach gender in schools?

April 28, 2015 by Guest Student Author

In Humanities 7 classes, the students design most of the units and, along with group work, choose individual Focus Questions to explore. For a recent unit on Education, Beatrice '20 chose "Should we teach gender in schools?" and created the essay below as a basis for her in-class presentation, which generated a thoughtful and moving discussion.

At Stoneleigh-Burnham, we support religious freedom and ask that all members of the community be treated with respect. I should be clear in that context that Beatrice pointed out during her presentation that she does not believe the family mentioned in the first paragraph represents all Christians, or even all Catholics. And later on, the point was specifically made that many Christians embrace the full spectrum of gender and sexuality with love.

As does this class.

With Beatrice's permission, then, here is her essay.

- Bill Ivey

“Gender needs to be taught in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something,” was written in the suicide note of 17 year old transgender girl, Leelah Alcorn. “My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s f---ed up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.” Leelah was a mistreated girl from an oppressive Catholic family. Her family's disapproval of her transgenderism caused her to commit suicide last year. It was this and even more recent death of a transgender boy named Zander, that ignited something in my mind. A fire called injustice burned. They weren't even adults yet and they died because of ignorant people, bullying, and no one being there to help them. This turned something over in me because I knew that this wouldn't have had to happen if someone had helped them and accepted them. Why no one did, I don't know. So should we teach gender in schools? There are positives and negatives to teaching it. But think, if kids were taught how to deal with this in school, how to help friends with their problems then maybe we could start on 'fixing society' as Leelah requests. But on the other hand, considering this would be an entirely new topic, how can we teach to young kids and explain to them what it means to feel that you are not who your chromosomes tell you to be?

Filed Under: gender, Gender Diversity, gender activism, StudentVoice