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