Schools have traditionally emphasized conformity as a way to encourage fitting in. Those who do not conform can find themselves facing discipline for infractions that, in other circumstances, would draw little if any attention. How well can rules to create conformity work for a transgendered teenager? Not well at all.
Most of what I remember was of appointments with social workers, making sure that my brother was okay, finding time to do my homework and learning how to cook, amidst other responsibilities. I did remember grandma teaching me how to fry rice with egg and how to boil noodles but I spent most of my last two years of high school living off frozen dinners every night.
For music programs to stay and to continue being relevant, they need to be modernized. In a perfect world, students would have access to computers with recording capabilities and music editing software so they could learn to edit, produce and mix. We need to understand how music and careers in the arts have changed and find ways to teach classes that reflect this ever-shifting landscape.
What a week it's been for me and the anti-GMO movement! This is my first year in high school and I am noticing that my life as an activist is a bit different than when I was in elementary school. The most exciting news I have to report right now though is that George Stroumboulopoulos asked me to be on his show!
On October 16, I will celebrate my first Global Dignity Day as Ottawa Chair and a member of the National Steering Committee for Global Dignity Canada. I cannot help but feel a sense of tremendous excitement surrounding the dignity agenda and its potential to promote meaningful cross-cultural relationships grounded in mutual respect.
Well another school year has just started and "Bullying Ends Here" is in high demand across North America. I am on a mission to continue telling the world about a boy named Jamie Hubley and hope that his story, along with my own, will show youth that they have support and have someone that they can communicate with through email at any time. I have received over 5000 emails in 6 months and I respond to each and every one of them. That is my commitment to youth. I will help any way that I can.
There are various reports about the amount of scholarship and bursary money that goes unclaimed each year. Some reports suggest that it could be over $15 million. While the exact number is hard to quantify, the point is there are millions of dollars that can be leveraged towards your future education. But where is the money, and how can you find it?
I just graduated from high school and admittedly, I have never felt directly connected to the Calgary Board of Education or the choices they have made regarding students. Certainly, each school has a representative on the Chief Superintendent's Student Advisory Council and while the benefits of such a council can be seen, it is regardless, not difficult to lose the thoughts of the greater student population which includes more than 100 000 students in the Calgary Board of Education alone.
Every July, around 10 Canadian universities scattered across the country play host to 500 students from all provinces/territories and even internationally. Although the program is for open-minded high school students who are not afraid to delve into any subject and become challenged or inspired in ways they never thought possible in one month, I hope to break the stereotype that this is "nerd camp". My program consisted of 56 total Shads and we lived in residence at the university.
Brent Kreuger was written off as "lazy" and "stupid" in elementary school in the 1960s -- a time before the "distracted student" was a mainstream social problem. So Krueger set out create a learning environment where outside-the-box thinkers were labelled "entrepreneurial" instead of "learning disabled." He founded the Praxis International Institute, the alternative high school he now runs as principal.
It is commendable that, as a society, we want to make it clear that no one should suffer persistent harassment and abuse. In our collective zeal to protect our children from harm, we have seen fit to institute a wide variety of anti-bullying curricula, programs, and in some jurisdictions, even legislation. But what else may be happening? While we want to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected from the kind of negative behaviours that many adults can recall vividly, we may be using our schools to bully the "bullies".
I came out to my family 10 years ago this month. It was, without question, the hardest thing I have ever done. For a long time, I tortured myself about my sexual orientation. It took a long time before I could even think that little sentence, the one I used to find so horrible and isolating, the one that goes like this: I'm gay.