Opinion: Welcome students by normalizing pronoun usage and encouraging attendance

By JOCELYN GOMEZ

A goal at Orangewood High School will always be to help students feel welcomed in their learning environment. 

Normalize pronoun usage

A common issue that is experienced is uncomfortable pronoun usage or reference. 

People attach their identity to how they are referenced whether it’s he/she/they/them. After speaking and taking personal experiences from students that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community on campus, I feel it’s important to bring awareness for those that feel left out of everyday society during the school day, simply because others are uncomfortable with using a specific reference that applies to their gender identity.

A solution to this would be teachers having a brief lesson on the importance of pronouns even for heterosexual people, and get students comfortable with each reference. Many people use pronouns and ask people to use their pronouns because they want society to respect their identity.  Blogs, like Prospect, give personal reasons on why pronouns are important.

Encourage school attendance

After speaking to students on campus, being in the time frame during the year where absences are at a peak, I’d like to share helpful opinions on what would motivate students to come to school. 

Some students, like Orangewood Senior Thomas Vasquez, agree that they would be more motivated to attend if school lunch was better in quality and different each week.

Senior Sidney Hammons also mentioned more activities on campus, like movie nights or spring festivals. 

A more realistic and easier alternative to those activities that was recommended would be more interactive lesson plans like games that involve the lesson or subject being studied.
Tracking students’ absences and approaching them to check if they have a personal issue at home is helpful, according to companies like Creatix Campus. Sometimes asking them shows that someone cares and notices, which could mean more to a student if it was staff that asked.

Featured image was created by AVA LARSEN using canva.com

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