Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) co-heads Pere Jaeger '22 and Sarah Shoff '23 took the school’s Rainbow Devils LGBTQ+ ally training on the road earlier this month, showcasing both the SCH program and its talented leadership with members of the Hatboro-Horsham school community.
Pere and Sarah, along with JJ Miller ’22 (the student head of Hatboro-Horsham High School's GSA), led a two-hour professional development training for a group of 42 nurses, school counselors, and administrators in the school district. During the training, they focused on the four objectives of SCH’s Rainbow Devil curriculum:
To educate students and adults about LGBTQ+ terminology;
To provide space in which trainees can explore their thoughts and feelings around LGBTQ+ issues;
To uncover the ways in which gender and sexuality privilege is at work in our society;
To allow participants to work in small groups on “real-life” scenarios so that they will be prepared in the moment of a sticky situation to be the best possible ally.
Helping peers, and now adults outside the community, build a safer, more inclusive school environment for all students is at the heart of the ally training program. With their presentation at Hatboro Horsham, the SCH student leaders were able to lend their voices to help the adults understand more about the experience of LGBTQ+ students at their own schools. Using group activities designed to explain a comprehensive list of terms and definitions and true-to-school scenarios, they helped shed light on how to handle difficult situations that might come up in a school setting.
Both leaders were justifiably proud of their contribution to the Hatboro Horsham wellness team and shared their feedback from the experience: Pere offered,
“It was definitely a little intimidating to be in front of such a large group of adults, but it was amazing to see older people making an effort to learn about LGBTQ+ issues.”
Sarah added, “As a queer student, it was so empowering to have my voice uplifted and applauded.”
One of the participants commented in a thank-you email, "Hearing from students will help all the staff present understand how important it is to acknowledge and support students, other staff, and people in our personal lives who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Your program is helping us to see that we are all people together trying to live our best lives and love and be loved while being true to ourselves."
Thank you Pere and Sarah for being such poised and articulate advocates of this important work, and to Ms. Kruger for her leadership to help build a safer and more inclusive SCH.
SCH’s Rainbow Devils curriculum was created by SCH physics teacher and GSA faculty advisor Ellen Kruger. The curriculum was adapted from a training program originally created by Andi Orben for the Taft School in Connecticut.