Celebrating LGBTQ+ visibility on Gordon's campus
Today began with the fourth grade hoisting the Pride flag in front of the school.
It is the annual national Day of Silence, observed in schools across the country to bring attention to the harassment LGBTQ+ students can experience.
In Gordon's Middle School, is recognized as a Day of Silence and Noise with interdisciplinary teach-ins and workshops.
This is the sixteenth year Gordon's Middle School has participated, but the first year the Pride flag has been incorporated.
They're not in Middle School yet, but the fourth graders are keepers of Gordon's flag-raising tradition, so their participation was essential.
The fourth graders delivered.
Meanwhile, Middle School students were beginning a morning of workshops.
In small, cross-grade groups students talked about a range of issues, from LGBTQ+ visibility in the Gordon community and "Don't Say Gay" legislation to the ways art and advertising can reinforce, or undermine, gender norms.
Students designed gender-inclusive, antisexist clothing stores.
They rewrote songs to include their own perspectives.
They roleplayed ways to interrupt harrassment and to apologize for unkind or ignorant remarks.
And, at a full Middle School assembly, eighth grade leaders talked about their own advocacy, in venues ranging from the school bus to the Rhode Island State House.
Then, preparations began for Gordon's first ever Pride parade.
Sign-making was an extension of recent conversations about the arts and advocacy.
Students had learned the historical context of Pride parades.
They understood they were participating in a larger tradition.
And yet, this afternoon, this parade felt like something that belonged to these students, and to this community.
It was something new.
It was something joyful.
It was something that belonged here.