Learning What's Right: The Tolerant Classroom

October is LGBTQ+ History Month. To celebrate, we encourage educators to teach tolerance all month long. Throughout history, advocates of the LGBTQ+ community have fought for equal rights, whether it be gender-specific, orientation-specific, or both. Take a look at the two timelines below to see key moments in the fight for gender and orientation-related rights.

The Fight for Gender-Related Rights

The Fight for Orientation-Related Rights

In teaching tolerance, first you must examine the concept of prejudice. Prejudice can exist in many forms! For example, some people don’t think a woman would make a good president. Another example is thinking that a woman should have to wear something ‘feminine’ to impress others. There are simple forms of prejudice against women that happen every day. We may not even notice them! Complete this hands-on activity from our Gender Equality & Inequality resource to not only brainstorm different examples of prejudice, but also to come up with possible solutions. Get the FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.

To further our study on tolerance, it's important to understand the idea of discrimination and where it comes from. Discrimination is an extension to prejudice. You see it everywhere. It can affect the classroom, workplace, even in the home. Below are a number of case studies that describe different kinds of discrimination. Choose 3 and describe how you could deal with the situation.

Case Study #1: Disability Discrimination
A school plans a trip to an art gallery. A blind student is not invited. This is because the school thinks she will not be able to participate in the gallery’s activities. Imagine you are her parent. What would you do?

Case Study #2: Sexism
There are a bunch of boys playing football in the park. A girl comes and asks if she can play. One of the boys says she can’t play because she’s a girl. Imagine you are one of the boys playing football. What would you do?

Case Study #3: Racism
There is a fight in the schoolyard between a white student and black student. The principal suspends the black student. The white student does not get a punishment. Imagine you are the vice principal. What would you do?

Case Study #4: Homophobia
A teacher describes gay relationships as ‘unnatural’ and ‘sinful’ during Sex Education. He says he will not discuss these types of relationships in class. There is a gay student in the class who is very upset by this. Imagine you are the student’s classmate. What would you do?

Case Study #5: Transphobia
A school is going on an overnight trip to a campsite. The camp says they can’t allow a transgender student to come on the trip. The reason is that they only have a boys’ tent area and a girls’ tent area. They claim they wouldn’t know where to put the student. Imagine you are the principal. What would you do?

Check out the Social Studies section of our FREE CONTENT page for some more relevant worksheets on tolerance.

Case studyDiscriminationEqualityFreeGraphicHistoryInfographicLife skillsPrejudiceRightsScenarioSocial studiesToleranceWorksheet