Using Tech to Stop Anti-LGBTQ Bullying
LGBTQ students at schools nationwide routinely hear anti-LGBTQ language and experience both victimization and discrimination at school. Fairfax County, the nation’s 10th largest public school district with over 180,000 students, used the Kognito Step In, Speak Up! role-play simulation to help educators build an understanding and appreciation of the challenges faced by these youth.
The Fairfax County Public School District, was an early leader in the movement to teach students about diversity within the family including topics such as alternative families and homosexuality. Over the past decade, the district has also experienced a high number of student deaths by suicide. Expanding on its successful implementation of Kognito’s At-Risk for PK-12 Educators simulation addressing mental health and suicide prevention, the district began to roll out Step-In, Speak Up! in 2015. The online simulation prepares participants to lead real-life conversations with students in class and one-on-one so they can curtail harassment and support those who may be struggling as a result of bullying or isolation.