Oct. 11, 2007
In 1906, in "What is Man?" Mark Twain wrote, "A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval." In today's times, those who help students with alternative lifestyles require proper training, experience and resources to guide their efforts in schools and the community-at-large. In this regard, students who choose alternative lifestyles are in need of improved acceptance and support while the community-at-large is in need of more awareness, acceptance and tolerance.

To address how people of all sexual orientations are treated amid rising concerns and to become more pro-active in reaching out to high schools, students and staff in the county, the Lancaster Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, has answered the call with a series of workshops for high school guidance counselors.

"The Lancaster Campus counseling office recently solicited feedback from school counselors on ACT 48 training needs. In response, we have developed a series of three workshops to assist in meeting this needs," said Jackie Bareuther, M.Ed.., associate dean of counseling and retention services.

The 2007/08 Counselor Workshop Series starts Oct. 20 with Safe Zone Training: Gay/Lesbian Awareness & Tolerance. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m.-noon in Room 227 of the Main Building of the Lancaster Campus, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike.

This session will be presented by Ann Burris, HACC counselor, and Jennifer St. Pierre, HACC instructor of sociology. The single registrant fee is $25 or if three or more people from the same school attend, the cost is $20 each.

The series provides ACT 48 training and/or National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) credit hours to community and school counselors to gain practical knowledge, training and credit hours necessary to assist students dealing with gay/lesbian, transsexual, queer, questioning (GLBTQ) awareness and tolerance issues.

The Safe Zone session will teach counselors to recognize the potential that the development of heterosexual allies has for making the culture of the school campus more tolerant toward GLBTQ students. Counselors will also learn to create a prejudice-free environment in the office place, department or school campus.

Topics to be included in the October session are:

  • What is Safe Zone?
  • Who are GLBTQ People?
  • Coming Out
  • Homophobia & Heterosexism
  • Statistics and Laws
  • Making an Ally
  • Creating a Safe Zone

As reported in a recent issue of Catalyst, a publication of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention, it is well proven that the development of the Safe Zone program reduces violence, harassment, substance abuse and other issue affecting students based on their sexual orientation.

The other upcoming workshops are "Self-Mutilation" on March 13 and "Girl Aggression - Mean Girls" on June 18. The fee for the Self Mutilation workshop is $25 for individuals or $20 for each participant attending from the same educational facility. The third workshop, Girl Aggression, is discounted to $10 if the participant attends the other two workshops. Otherwise, the fee is $25 for one person or $20 for each same school attendee.

To register for any or all of the workshops, or to receive detailed brochures on 2008 workshops, contact Jackie Bareuther at 358-2988 or via e-mail at the contact email address below.

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