One Equal World

Posts Tagged ‘education

A bathroom with a gender sign on it that says, "who cares?"

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Trans bathrooms are a hot button issue right now. Conservative pundits argue that if trans people are permitted to use the women’s restroom, there will be a massive increase in rapes, child molestation cases, and peeping Tom incidents. Even though experts have already proven this notion to be false, this “predator myth” still stubbornly persists despite zero evidence to support it.

What the latest research does show is that not allowing trans people to use the restroom of the gender they identify is incredibly harmful to our children. In other words, the future of society is at stake and it’s up to us to ensure that we create a more inclusive environment for our youth.

The study found that ensuring the safety of trans students in high school bathrooms is essential to providing them with educational equality. Based on surveys of five schools in Michigan conducted in 2014, researchers found that trans students who didn’t feel safe in the bathroom generally didn’t feel safe at school, which could impact their grades and self-esteem.

High school is already a notoriously difficult time, but for trans students trying to figure out their gender identity, it can be even more difficult. What’s more is that high school students have considerably less agency and mobility than adults, which means that when they’re subjected to unsafe conditions, it’s a lot harder for them to do anything about them.

This research comes at an important time, as several U.S. courts are currently dealing with cases related to bathroom access for trans students. This research suggest that even the relatively simple solution of including gender-neutral bathrooms in schools can go a long way towards making these students’ lives a lot easier. That may not address the underlying social problems that make trans students feel unsafe in school bathrooms, but it can help those students get by as we continue to fight for trans inclusion.

Sloan MIT

Sloan business school at MIT is one of the country’s most inclusive MBA campuses.
Image: Shutterstock

Friendfactor has an interesting challenge going on right now: it’s called the MBA Ally Challenge, and it’s a “friendly competition among business schools to build the largest and most impactful ally initiatives they can over the course of the school year.”

Schools that choose to participate are evaluated on three factors: Membership (how many students participate), Activities (number of events with an ally-specific component), and Outcomes (baseline and end of year results on a survey measuring LGBT awareness and the LGBT-friendliness of campus culture).

So far, twelve schools are participating in the challenge across the country, and their current rankings are as follows:

  1. Ross
  2. Kellogg
  3. Sloan
  4. Booth
  5. Columbia
  6. Tepper
  7. Harvard
  8. Anderson
  9. Tuck
  10. Darden
  11. Kenan-Flagler
  12. Fuqua

This is the second year of the MBA Ally Challenge; last year, six top schools participated, activating over 900 students across the nation to ultimately raise awareness of LGBT issues by 19% and improve inclusiveness across campus by 24%. This year, the participating schools have doubled, with twelve top schools participating. So far (just a few months in), over 1,800 students have taken part. Over 100 activities are planned throughout the school year.

We’ll be looking forward to May, when Friendfactor releases the final results of the challenge. Will Ross stay number one, or will other schools manage to activate more members, plan more events, and increase inclusion even more than they have? This challenge is a fun way to promote activism and community across campuses, and will hopefully continue for many years to come.