Thursday, November 03, 2016

OK I’m Biased

When it comes to social workers (Ha! I bet you thought I was going to write about politics) I am biased. The National Association of Social Workers has a policy on transgender issues that supports us and calls for the end discrimination and to respect diversity. A social worker in Wisconsin is working to end bullying in schools against us.
Know Your Madisonian: Social worker fights bias-based bullying, carves space for LGBTQ-plus students
Wisconsin State Journal
By Steven Verburg
November 3, 2016

In her job as the Madison School District’s LGBTQ+ social worker, Sherie Hohs (pronounced “Sh-REE HAAS”) helps teachers, staff, parents and students prevent bullying that is based on bias.

When she took her current position three years ago, she added a plus sign to the abbreviation (for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) in her job title. Hohs and others include the additional notation because changes develop regularly in terminology around identity. Recently, gender identity has received much attention related to bathroom access for transgender people, but attitudes have been changing for a while.
What does your job involve?My job is to advocate for anything that is going to make our schools safe and inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ-plus students. ... We do a lot of work around stopping bullying based on bias. That’s any kind of bullying around identity — so their skin color, their gender, who they love, their religion, their culture, what have you.

What are schools doing about bullying?Teaching kids how to be allies to stop bullying and really mobilizing, changing the school culture where the kids know and value diversity so much that they will stand up when they hear somebody bullying somebody ... Bullying based on identity is the bullying that hurts the most and has the most long-lasting impact. ... Our goal is to empower our students with language and discussion and knowledge and all that stuff around true diversity so they don’t take bias into their heart, so that they are allies and they stand up when they see those things.
The code of ethics for the NASW include training for working with trans people and other diverse populations.

Most people when they hear Social Worker think of therapist or state human services employees but we are much more diverse than therapists and DSS employees, many of us are out there working for legislation to improve quality of life for our community and to help organizing the community.

This afternoon I am on a panel about the movie Gen Silent that is playing up at Northwestern Community College.

No comments: