Lisa Hunter

Students Train Faculty to Address Homophobia

Lisa Hunter, from Hamden, Connecticut, organized the school's gay-straight alliance— Students Teaching Tolerance, Openness, and Pride (STTOP)—to train faculty in her high school to address homophobic behavior. The training consisted of a role-playing skit, as well as a student panel at which students shared their personal experiences of homophobia in the high school.

Lisa's hope in creating this training was to build a bridge between STTOP and the high school faculty and administration, so that together they could work against homophobia.

Lisa wrote a proposal to the school president asking permission to conduct the training. She scheduled weekly brainstorms with members of STTOP to work out themes for skits and speeches. The group worked with the school administration to get permission to hold meetings and post flyers. Several rehearsals were scheduled.

The effort was worth it. Says Lisa, "The presentation was a huge success, beyond anything I had hoped for. We were crying. The teachers were crying. My friend Joanna received a standing ovation for her powerful and painful speech. The following day teachers I had never met before told me how wonderful our presentation was."

Lisa followed up on her project by distributing a survey to teachers to gauge whether they are addressing more anti-gay comments in the school.