Micah Johnson
Micah Johnson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth (TOY) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of North Carolina have entered into a partnership to bring Welcoming Schools to the region.

A project of HRC’s foundation, the program offers tools, lessons and resources on embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping and ending bullying and name-calling in elementary schools.

“We are excited to bring this program to the Charlotte region,” Rodney Tucker, executive director, said in a release. “Since starting our work in middle schools in 2012 we have seen increased numbers of younger youth who are identifying as questioning. This program gives us a product to help these students, teacher and families,” he added.

“Teachers and staff want concrete ways to support their students and Welcoming Schools provides these skills and resources,” Micah Johnson, TOY’s director of school Outreach said.

Johnson attended a three-day training with Welcoming Schools and the Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in order to bring the Welcoming Schools curriculum to schools and communities in the Carolinas.

HRC research shows that Welcoming Schools provides a positive improvement in school diversity climate, reduction in teachers’ concerns regarding their own lack of training or resources, reductions in teachers’ fears of parental dissatisfaction, and positive difference in believing that children of every age could benefit from discussing gender roles and expression and families with LGBT parents.

“We are elated to foster this local partnership with HRC and Time Out Youth. Full equality has always been the goal for HRC and that includes our local school systems. LGBTQ youth need to feel safe and accepted in school and through the great program of Welcoming Schools, we can lay the foundation for this to happen,” said Dan Mauney, a member of HRC’s Board of Governors.

info: welcomingschools.org.

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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.