Ocean City School District is breaking barriers and opening up the conversation on transgender youth in the school system. On Wednesday, January 24th OCSD invited Dr. Alexandra Redcay, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a PhD in Social Work, to speak to the teachers about what it means to be transgender and what are the best practices to help children cope.
Dr. Redcay, along with the title of Social Worker, is a Professor at Millersville University where her coursework focuses on social work research particularly in the areas of LGBT Issues. Her interests include mental health, addiction, and Latino issues. She travels to Guatemala every year improving her ability to speak Spanish and doing charity work. She is also the executive director at a non-profit agency, Serise. Dr. Redcay works as an expert witness, trainer, therapist, program evaluator, and consultant.
When Dr. Redcay opened, she asked the room to raise their hand if they had ever interacted with a trans youth student in the school system. By the amount of hands raised in the auditorium, it was clear that more than half of the teachers had. She then continued on to express the importance of being there for these students with the jaw-dropping statistic of one in three transgender children attempt suicide. Through her two hour lecture, Dr. Redcay weaved in facts, correct terms, trans youth in pop culture, and even a pop quiz.
“The Ocean City School District is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for transgender students, whether or not we are aware of trans individuals in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor. “Our commitment to an inclusive school environment enables questioning students to explore their gender and sends a message of acceptance to all students. It isalso important to provide our staff with tools and training needed to best serve all of our students as we did with Dr. Redcay’s presentation about transgender youth.”
By staying up-to-date are the most current topics, Ocean City School Districts tries to provide an environment where all students are able to feel safe and be themselves.