Tough Conversations

Tough Conversations

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Storyboard Description

Here in this comic you, you learn how sometimes our students and their parents may need to come to us about topics that may be uncomfortable or unknown... here is how I would treat the situation.

Storyboard Text

  • Our daughter here has informed us she wants to be boy. We just want to love our girl! WHAT are we to do?
  • we are so confused, we have supported our daughter, let her do crazy things like cutting her hair short. We thought this was a phase! WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? 
  • listening 
  • Thank you for being open and honest with me! This is such a  sensitive  situation, one that should be taken with care and with guidance from others.  We have a school counselor that we can start with, but talking together as a family is also very important. Listen to your child. Be able to hear them and give them time to open up  and understand what they need.  
  • I am an ALLY!  As an ALLY I am committed to providing you with a   safe space to learn more, rest, feel heard, and just  be .   I have family and friends that identify as LGBTQ   and I support them as I will support you.   Here are some other great resources outside of the school that can benefit you. 
  • The unknown can be very difficult. Parents want the best for their child, and sometimes are not equipped with the knowledge to help them out. As educators, we must be aware of this, and the ways in which we may help our students when possible.  Whatever your beliefs, the children in your classroom are yours to protect and to give guidance to your best ability. 
  • I dont have all the answers, but I want to make sure that I can be reached if you need me. This is no easy transition.But I stand behind you. 
  • After letting the parents know that they are being heard and their concerns are valid, it is important to to start talking to them on what you and your school can provide. We might have a specific action plan as a school but you should be aware of resources that are out there. Starting with a therapist or counselor would be a great first step. There are also a ton of online resources. 
  • This is all so new to us. Where we begin? Where should we start as a family?
  • What if I make mistakes!?
  • Sharing information is vital. It can sometimes even save lives. Being able to share that the student is not alone,  is also incredibly important. I  would provide parent and student with the following websites. , ,, These online resources will be on a pamphlet that I will give to the student and parents. 
  • This is awkward, but I guess just LISTEN when I am ready to share!
  • I can do that!
  • I can do that!
  • I can too!
  • Speak up. Students   need to trust that you have their best interest at heart. If this meeting is making them uncomfortable (hint: it is)  share that you are here to help.  That throughout the day,  you can be there no questions asked.   Provide that safe space so that if and when they are comfortable, they can reach out without feeling like they may be judged. 
  • At some point in the conversation,  ask your student what you can do to help out. Would they want to go by another name yet? Too soon?  What is it , if anything, that you can do in the classroom that will make this process a little less daunting.
  • This will take time to  process. What can we all do now so that we are helping out now? What can we do today and in the next coming weeks months? 
  • Remember, kindness is infectious, honesty is key, and being  there to show up and let the family  know that you are there to help out can change this a new frontier  into  a far less scary journey. 
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