HomeU.S.Connecticut teachers will open the state's first LGBTQ-focused school in late 2023

Connecticut teachers will open the state’s first LGBTQ-focused school in late 2023

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A Connecticut teacher announced plans to open an LGBTQ-focused school this year.

Patricia Nicollari told NBC News that she wanted to create an LGBTQ-friendly school after experiencing intense harassment during her three decades as an educator. With just eight months to go until the official opening in September, at least 30 parents have already shown interest in his academy.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m going through a lot of anxiety as a teacher. I can’t imagine what our students go through questioning themselves and how unsafe it is for them to come out,'” Ms Nicollari told the network.

PROUD Academy — proudly honoring our unique differences — will be located near New Haven. Ms. Nicollari said she hopes her school will be a safe haven for gay, lesbian, trans, non-binary and other queer students who have suffered the consequences of years of flaws in the U.S. education system.

“Some parents just say, ‘I just want my child to be happy again,'” Ms. Nicollari told the network. “And if we could offer that to a family? That would be priceless.”

The school plans to include subjects with an LGBTQ focus in its curriculum and will also offer advanced and honors-level classes. Ms Nicolari plans to make available mental health professionals whose skills are appropriate to the experiences and difficulties of LGBTQ students.

Courses will range from third grade through grade 12, with several parents currently living in the conservative state already showing interest in moving to Connecticut so their children can attend PRIDE Academy.

Melissa Combs told NBC that the prospect of her transgender son going to a school where she feels like he is “life-changing.” Ms Coombs said the minor had been abused and physically assaulted for being transgender.

“It means that I would not knowingly send my child into a hostile environment every day,” Ms Combs told the outlet. “This means that my child will be 100 years old[per cent] time.”

Ms. Nicollari’s academy could be the answer to many parents’ challenges as GOP-controlled states continue to push for laws that ban discussion of LGBTQ topics and books about the community.

PROUD Academy — proudly honoring our unique differences — will open in September

(Pride Academy City)

Last year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed the “Parental Right to Education” law, later dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The law currently in effect prohibits classroom discussions about “sexual orientation or gender” in kindergarten through third grade.

Mr. DeSantis also signed the “Stop WOKE” Act, which restricts how colleges and universities teach classes on race and gender, before a judge in November blocked it as unconstitutional discrimination.

In October, a new law in Oklahoma banned public elementary, middle school, high school and college athletes from competing on sports teams of their gender identity if it differs from the gender they were assigned at birth.

Most recently, the North Carolina Senate advanced a bill that would ban instruction about sexuality and gender identity in K-4 public school classes.

Patricia Nicolari says she set out to create an LGBT-friendly school after experiencing intense harassment during her three decades as an educator.

(Pride Academy City)

The bill’s sponsors say they want to give parents more control over their children’s education and health care. The bill would require schools to notify parents in most cases before changing the name or pronoun used for their child.

PEN America describes some of these laws as “educational gag orders,” a term coined by the nonprofit to describe “bills that regulate whether and how educators can discuss certain topics and ideas.”

Ms. Nicollari said she hopes her initiative will be replicated in other states.

“…[W]We cannot bully our students and families into falling short of their potential,” he told NBC.

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