A Message from the WSCA Operations Manager
Hello and happy summer, WSCA Members!
As the face behind the WSCA phone and email, I wanted to take a moment to connect with you as you head into this time of rest and rejuvenation after a very tough year. I know you are ready to check out for your well-deserved breaks, but I do want to make sure you are aware of the high-quality opportunities for summertime learning, personal growth, and self-care during these months off.
As a perk to engaging with our start of summer newsletter content, you can find a short three-question quiz in the body of the email version of this newsletter. Fill it out to be entered to win a WSCA goodies giveaway!
Happy resting to you all.
A Message from the WSCA Board of Directors
Hello June! We are happy to see you!
What a year it has been. After two unprecedented years due to the pandemic, I think many of us came into the 2021-2022 school year with hope, optimism, and the excitement of being face to face with our students. What everyone was hoping would be a return to “normal” has, for many of us, been anything but. Due to staff shortages, the continued presence of COVID-19, pressure from community members, and students adjusting to life in person again, this school year brought some very unique challenges. As board members, we recognize the uphill battles that were faced this year and continue to be so thankful for all of our very talented school counselors around the state.
This school year, the board focused its work on racial equity and ensuring we are meeting the needs of all of our members. We will continue this work into the summer as we look into our focus for the next school year. We will be sending two board members to the ASCA conference to bring back learning that we hope will be very informative for our organization and our members.
As you all wrap up your school year, we again thank you for your hard work this year and continued contributions to this organization. We hope that everyone has time to rest, recharge, and take care of themselves this summer. We appreciate all that you do.
Feature Article – Celebrate Pride Month
Celebrate Pride Month
Menasha High School Counselor, WSCA Scholarship and Professional Recognition Director
It’s June! We made it! As we wrap up another school year, it is the time for celebrations. We celebrate the achievements of our students, the progress of our schools, and the personal growth we have obtained from another challenging year now behind us. June is also the perfect time to celebrate Pride Month and our LGBTQ students, staff, families, and surrounding community.
Pride month is celebrated in June to honor the Stonewall Uprising and raise awareness about efforts for equal justice and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ Americans were commonly subjected (History). This event was a turning point in the movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans. Read more about it here.
Now that we are shifting to time away from our students, the month of June provides us an excellent opportunity to assess the policies and practices of our school and district, analyze how our counseling programs provide equitable access for LGBTQ+ students, as well as reflect on our personal beliefs and biases. Year after year, data show students report feeling unsafe in school due to their sexual orientation, perceived orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and report experiencing homophobic remarks, harassment, and bullying (GLSEN). According to HRC’s report, LGBTQ students have a difficult time accessing affirming and supportive school counseling services. Of the LGBTQ youth surveyed, 77 percent reported that, on average, they had felt down or depressed in the past week. Yet, only 27 percent are comfortable talking to their school counselor about issues related to their LGBTQ identity.
(Check out this free ASCA webinar on Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools for LGBTQ students!)
School Counselors have the unique opportunity to be an ally for all LGBTQ students, whether they are out to us or not. An ally is a supporter that will stand up to discriminatory practices, act when they hear or see anything offensive, display their allyship visibly so others know you are a safe person to talk to, and be the empathetic, supportive people School Counselors naturally are (Inclusion Ally.)
As we wrap up the 21-22 school year, I invite you to reflect on the LGBTQ work that was done in your building. There are always moments to celebrate! There are many moments to celebrate, whether it’s something monumental like starting a Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) or something small and symbolic like displaying a rainbow flag in your office. Thank you, School Counselors, for all the work you do to make school a safe, accepting place for all students. In the words of WSCA’s own Lisa Koenecke, “Thank you for saving lives!”
Advocacy & Support Organizations
- Be an Inclusion Ally: ABCs of LGBTQ+
- LGBTQ Inclusive Books for Elementary
- LGBTQ Inclusive Books for Middle School
- LGBTQ Inclusive Books for High School
- LGBTQ Reads for Adults
Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs)
You Spoke, We Listened
Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in our Schools
Brian J & Lisa K’s recent online learning presentation on “Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in our Schools” is now available on-demand.
You can find this recording, along with all the other 2021-2022 online learning presentations, in the Members’ Only area of the website.
If you are looking for even more content, be sure to peruse our on-demand video archive where you will find 100+ recordings broken down by level and track.
ASCA Urges Congress to Address Gun Violence
Excerpt from ASCA’s Press Release:
“Dear ASCA members,
In today’s issue of USA Today is a one-page letter asking congressional leaders to pass legislation to promote gun safety and increase gun violence research. ASCA has signed on to this letter along with American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association Services, Clinical Social Work Association, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association, National Parent Teacher Association and the School Social Work Association of America.
The letter, which is a full page ad, states: “We stand together as educators, principals, school staff, parents, health professionals and professional associations to say, ‘No more!’ No more hashtags. No more headlines. No more short-lived outrage. No more empty promises.”
The letter is in alignment with ASCA ‘s position statement on the Prevention of School-Related Gun Violence and makes the argument that gun violence is a public health crisis and should not be conflated with mental illness.
“Arming educators is not the answer. Neither is forming another commission,” says Jill Cook, ASCA executive director. “The answer is common-sense gun laws. Congress must act. The lives of our school students and staff depend on it.”“