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29 Dec, 2022 22:44

US health agency grills teachers over LGBTQ inclusivity

The CDC has issued self-assessment handbooks to determine how welcoming classrooms are for minority students
US health agency grills teachers over LGBTQ inclusivity

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new tool to help school teachers indicate how “LGBTQ inclusive” their classrooms are. The agency has encouraged educators to commit to change if an inclusivity level isn’t as high as needed. 

The CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health announced the self-assessment handbook in a tweet on Tuesday, urging school administrators to undergo the test and “learn ways to increase inclusivity.”

The tweet links to a handbook that features a number of statements regarding “inclusivity.” Educators are asked to score how much these statements apply to them and what they do. The document also offers a set of changes that teachers could implement based on their self-assessment score.

The highest-scoring participants of the volunteer test are labeled as “awesome allies” while those with a mid-score are ranked as “moderately inclusive” who are “beginning to break through.” 

As for the lowest-scoring educators, they are deemed “minimally inclusive” and are urged to “commit to change” and provided with a plethora of links and tools to help improve their scores. That includes taking Harvard University's “implicit bias test” and using the so-called “genderbread person” and “gender Unicorn” diagrams.

To achieve the highest score, teachers are asked to agree with a number of statements such as “My classroom or learning space includes visual labels (e.g. rainbow flags, pink triangles, unisex bathroom signs) marking it as a safe space for LGBTQ students.”

Participants are also ranked on how much they advocate for LGBTQ issues. According to the handbook, “allies” are expected to correct those around them if they use “outdated, derogatory or harmful language or terminology,” advocate for LGBTQ materials in the classroom and participate in their school’s Gay Straight Alliance/Genders and Secualities Alliance.

The last page of the document states that the handbook was  published in October 2020, meaning the CDC appears to have been distributing this “self-assessment tool” in US schools for the past two years.