This kid's dad is just as bad as the bullies at school, until he makes me smile at the end.

Doesn't seem fair that some kids get laughed at for who they are inside.

Especially when it's because who they are inside doesn't seem to match who people assume they are on the outside.

P.S. This mom is understandably angry and upset, but I'm not a fan of the portrayal of her as aggressive and physically violent.


Gender norms are complex and antiquated things. We are starting more and more to understand that gender is a spectrum and that we can't assume we understand or know someone's gender identity based on the sex they appear to be.

People often argue that kids can't know what gender they are at ages as young as 3 or 5 ... but I would argue that kids know a heck of a lot more about themselves than we know about them. Who are we to judge each other based on what we assume we know? Nothing good can come of that.

In fact, the consequences of that judgment and rejection can be deadly. Teenager Leelah Alcorn was 17 when she apparently stepped in front of a truck and died. In her suicide note, she talked about her parents trying to "fix" her.

Here's one heartbreaking excerpt:

"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say "that's fucked up" and fix it.

It's possible that if Leelah had lived, she would have transitioned to living as a woman, which for her may have meant her life would totally change. Some say it is a selfish decision; others say it simply is not a decision. It's who they are and always have been. Joy Ladin, who is the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish school, speaks to this:

"It looks to people like a choice. And it's clearly a choice that was terrible for my family, it was terrible for my wife, it broke up my marriage, it broke up my children's home. ... It really wasn't good for anybody particularly, except for me. So, if I chose to do something that was bad for everybody but me, that's an act of radical — even sociopathic — selfishness ... but to me ... there was no one else I could be. It wasn't a selfish choice. It was a choice between living or dying."

She goes on to talk about how she seriously considered suicide for many years, but thought transitioning into living as a woman was a better option for her family. Joy was in her 40s when she transitioned.

The image of the father wearing a dress and accepting his child is so powerful, and the destructive nature of his rejection is also very real. I hope parents see this and realize that acceptance really can be a matter of life and death for their child.

Here are the lyrics to that beautiful song by HollySiz:

Let the light come through us

Let's believe in ourselves
Let's believe in something
Let the lights come through us
Let's believe in ourselves
Let's blow the dust on shelves



Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

Let us go
Let us grow
Let's believe we can change
Let's believe in ourselves


Let us go
Let us grow
Let's believe we can change
Let's blow the dust on shelves


Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

Let's believe in our minds

Let's believe we will let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth
Let the shout-outs locked up in our mouth

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture