What comes to mind when you see the word “family’?
The idealized image of the American dream family shows a mother and father, but in reality, are all families like that?
There are, in fact, many different kinds of families, such as grandparents who raise grandchildren, single mothers and fathers, interracial parents, two mothers or two fathers. All kinds of families exist.
For example, I myself grew up with two mothers. It is really important to make children who have two mothers and two fathers feel safe, equal and included.
Back when I was in kindergarten, we were making flower boxes for Mother’s Day. I told my teacher that I needed to make three boxes because I had two moms and one godmother.
I was really lucky to have that teacher. She rearranged her schedule, gave up her prep time and asked me to give up my recess time to make sure I could make three flower boxes.
I was really fortunate to have her for my teacher. Later, another girl was not as fortunate because she had a different teacher. This young girl also had two moms. Her teacher told her that she must choose one mother to make a flower box for. The girl looked at the teacher and wondered how she could pick one mother out of two mothers. Is that right? No.
Today we have 15 states that have passed same-sex marriage laws and that number is increasing. One day we will have all states with this law. It is important to make sure that all schools recognize and honor diversity and equality for all families.
How can they do that? First, they can add more training. For example, while I was growing up, I remember that almost all of the pictures, drawings and posters I saw showed white and straight couples or families. They should show more diversity in families.
Second, for all of my life, I have noticed that forms requiring parent signatures always have one line for “mother” and another line for “father”. I always have to cross off “father” and write in “mother”. School forms should be more neutral by stating “parent” on both lines.
Third, schools need to make sure they don’t show bias. As you know, teachers, parents and other adults are role models to children, who look up to them. It is important for them to explain that all families are equal and that they are fine. Children will learn equality and respect from them. When they grow up, they will make the world a better place. Thank you
My experience of Jr. NAD Conference 2011 (:
Hi, my name is Jehanne McCullough and I am a sophomore in Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD). I am also the vice-president for MSD’s Jr. NAD chapter. Last November, along with two other students that are the president and secretary, we went to Jr. NAD conference at California School for the Deaf, Riverside. Thanks to Maryland Association of the Deaf (MDAD) who sponsored us for this trip with $500, we gained a lot of experience from the conference. There were many workshops and speeches that we saw, and they talked about different things. I learned a lot from those workshops. Among the people who led the workshops, two were from Maryland! That’s nice. One of workshops talked about how to be an assertive leader instead of using passive or aggressive methods. Another talked about the power of media, and that workshop led us to set up MSD Jr. NAD’s Facebook page after we learned about how powerful media can be! Even Miss NAD Deaf America, Rachel Mazique, gave us a workshop. There was a pageant night, MSD did not participate as it was last minute for us, but we still had fun and learned a lot during the pageant. Some who were in the pageant discussed many things like Deaf issues, bullying, and more. I met a lot of people, and it’s great networking opportunity for me. There are different group projects like Round Table where they discussed the proposals for Jr. NAD General Assembly later. Another is Empty Bowl group where they painted the bowls to be auctioned and the proceeds would be donated to charity. I am in George Veditz Video group where we made a Public Service Announcement (PSA) during the weekend about empowering to youth. We went to all workshops and on the last day, there was General Assembly where all of proposals the Round Table agreed on were being brought up. Delegates voted on those proposals. My school has two delegates who are the president of Jr. NAD and me, the vice-president and one observer. We the delegates at the conference reviewed all of proposals in General Assembly and voted for or against on different proposals. We supported the proposal to have two Jr. NAD representatives going to NAD conference this summer, and the proposal got passed. On last night, I met many people and would never ever forget this conference. This conference really helped me to be a better leader, and when I came back home in Maryland, I became more active and better leader around my community. The conference was really worth it! Again, I want to thank MDAD for sponsoring me to go to the conference and to make it possible!