I agree that LGBT youth must not be excluded, especially because it affects their incentives for learning and wanting to go to school. However, I must note that adults must look at the classroom and socialization from a child’s point of view. Young children do not judge each other by differences, even though they may notice them, unless they are accustomed to an environment that teaches them to think in a biased way. They do not understand terms such as inclusion and exclusion, though they are well aware of the basic concepts through play. (ex. one child wanting or not wanting to play with another child). I strongly believe that children should not be exposed to adult terms . Children need to be creative, explore fantasy and not be told about realities, such as racism because it casts a negativity on their world of creativity and enjoyment while playing. They should not be taught to look for differences but rather taught to include each other at playtime, and be taught that if someone is different, it is just a part of life. Not all people are the same.
Words have various meaning, interpretations and connotations, depending on the context. Children may say a word innocently, but an adult may interpret it a different way. Nonetheless, children’s actions reflect their home environment and what they are accustomed to. Youth older than twelve are more self-conscious, but must be showed acceptance in the classroom. This happens when people, including teachers, speak, connect and apply everyday experiences that most students and people in general experience. Seeing and hearing about the simlarities will help these youth realize they share the same qualities. Sometimes, youth become so enveloped in thinking about themselves and how people perceive them, that they end up making up assumptions they think other people are making about them, but they are actually making it up themselves.
The classroom is the place where students learn socialization outside of the family. The family is where their mindset is molded. The key to effective socialization is including everyone in activities, observing similarities and accepting differences. Newman noted that ideologies affect LGBT youth (83). Ideologies also influence the way people respond to situations, how they communicate with others. These ideas impact their motivation to listen and learn in the classroom. I wonder just how effective it would be to hear each other’s ideologies and note the similarities and differences. What would we learned from that?