Conference To Focus On Gender And Sexuality In Education

ROCHESTER (WWJ)– It’s a first-ever conference of its kind in Michigan, held in hopes of creating a more “inclusive” environment for all students.

At Oakland University, educators will gather Friday to talk about the thorny issue of how to treat young people who identify more with the opposite gender than their own.

Education Professor Dr. Timothy Larrabee told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil such students are often bullied and teased.

“And there are teachers who ignore it because they think if that child wasn’t different, if that child didn’t act differently than most kids, didn’t look differently than most kids, you know, then they wouldn’t be bringing this on themselves,” he said.

Larabee explained why the conference is needed.

“What I hear most often from teachers is, ‘I don’t know what to do, and I’m afraid I’m going to say something that’s wrong. I’m afraid I’m going to say something that’s going offensive and so I don’t say anything.’ And then often don’t feel prepared,” he said.

Larrabee said about 10-percent of all students identify themselves as gay, bisexual, transgender or “questioning” their sexual identity.

For more information or to register for the event, visit


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