Transcending tolerance: A four-week program promoting respect and empathy for LGBTQ middle school students

The purpose of this project was to develop a program that will foster a sense of empathy and respect toward students at the middle school level who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) by providing middle school counselors with an instructional guide complete with activities designed to address the harmful effects of heterosexism and anti-gay rhetoric. The LGBTQ adolescent population is at a higher risk for academic and psychological struggles compared to heterosexual students due to LGBTQ students being discriminated against and bullied by those who are intolerant or unaccepting of their minority sexual and/or gender identity. This four-week program will be administered by a Professional School Counselor who will lead 7th and 8th grade students in activities that promote an attitude of acceptance, understanding, and transcending tolerance.