Education with Pride

Author: WDG Staff
Source: WDG
Published: December 1, 2016

Following a TV program that followed a teacher coming out to his students, a new social media campaign led by The Aguda calls LGBT teachers to come out and create a discourse at their schools.

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“My coming out to my class created a dialogue between my identity to theirs and allowed an opportunity to doubt social structuring, stereotypes and prejudice” – Racheli

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“When I told my students I was gay it made them feel that they’re allowed to be different, special, that they are allowed to be themselves.” – Sagi

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“It’s important to me to expose the students to the world f the LGBT community and to values that relate to our struggle: Feminism, equal opportunities, human rights and more” – Avihu

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“When I was a teenagers the words lesbian and gay didn’t exist, especially not at school. Now as a lesbian teacher who speaks about it publicly, the oppression in the silence for the girl I was ends” – Orly

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“It’s important to me to speak about the bisexual identity, through that I reflect that the complexity and the hard time comes from the outside and not for me, I just love” – Hannah 

Teachers are our first educators, but more often than not we are not exposed to their own personal stories. A new campaign in Israel, “Educating with Pride,” a joint project of The Aguda, IGY, the LGBT forum for educators and EduaAction production company seek to uncover coming out stories of teachers and make them role models for their colleagues and of course for their students.

The campaign, which will be published on Facebook and Instagram, will present a number of LGBT teachers and the impact that being out of the closet has on the students. In addition, the campaign calls for more teachers to share their stories and to describe the impact of coming out and thereby to encourage other teachers to come out in the classroom.

The campaign was born out of a connection with a TV program “After the Bell Rings” on Channel 10, directed by Orna Ben Dor, where, in the second episode, teacher Sagi Friedman comes out to his students.

“One of the most important things in the series, aside from the glimpse it provides for the first time to the world of teachers, is flooding the social issues that surface in every classroom,” explains Eyal Brindt Shavit, CEO and founder of EduAction that produced the series for Channel 10. “Ashkenazi-Mizrahi, economic and social gaps at schools and the insulting wages and class of educators. The struggle for LGBT equality is also reflected in the series, through the inspiring story of Sagi, and through the class of Nadav Haruvi, the teacher of Shira Banki, Z”L. Education is not just equations with one unknown – but a way to strengthen humanistic values for future generations. ”

“We wanted to take advantage of the dialogue and the buzz that the program creates and produce a discourse on coming out among LGBT teachers,” said Ran Shalhavi, Digital Manager of the Aguda.”By raising awareness of the importance of coming out, we hope we can encourage other teachers to come out to their classes and serve as role models who change students’ attitudes.”

“We are excited about the initiative of Channel 10 to place the gay community and education for tolerance in the center of the discourse”, adds Ohad Hizki, CEO of the Aguda. “We at the Aguda believe that change begins with education, and so we want to encourage other teachers to serve as models for students, and help them to shape a more tolerant, more diverse and more authentic society.”