LGBTQ Webcast Series

Scheinman Institute talks LGBTQ issues in the education sector
Friday, July 17, 2015

ILR’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution recently hosted its first in a series of webcasts focusing on LGBTQ issues emerging in the workplace and practices that could support problem solving and resolution to these issues.

The webcast, Legal Issues for LGBTQ Teachers and Administrators: What Every School Worker Needs to Know, discussed the landscape of LGBTQ workplace issues within the public education sector of kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Three main topics were covered, said Katrina Nobles, Scheinman education and communications manager, who moderated the webcast.

“These include the evolution of the current LGBTQ legislative landscape at the state and federal levels, how this landscape has changed in recent years with a focus on stereotyping, conduct outside of the classroom and harassment, and trans-identity issues in terms of what school districts, advocates and collaborative attorneys are doing to address emerging LGBTQ issues.”

Nobles was joined by two expert guest presenters who specialize in LGBTQ law and have dedicated their careers to the subject; Arthur S. Leonard ILR ’74 Harvard Law ’77, professor of law, New York Law School and editor, Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, and Diana Adams Cornell Law ’04, Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC. Both are authorities within the field and advocates for LGBTQ rights under the law with detailed comprehension of its evolution.

Geared towards school boards and administrators, as well as education faculty, teacher union representatives, advocates, arbitrators and mediators, the hour-long discussion provided a summary of what you need to know about these issues.

“With the ever-changing landscape of legislation, it is essential for school districts to build an understanding and processes appropriate for emerging LGBTQ issues,” said Nobles.

At least two more webcasts in this series are in the works for the coming academic year, one taking place in the fall and another in the spring focused towards collaborative problem solving, planning, system design and the impact on students with regards to LGBTQ issues in the educational workplace.

Highlighting the subject came from a recent decision made by the Scheinman Advisory Board to make LGBTQ issues within the context of alternative dispute resolution a priority topic.

Nobles explained that the focus on this area comes from the fact that LGBTQ issues are evolving into a new landscape with particular impact on public sector workplaces, such as in education, and legislation is being passed on both federal and state levels. With this, there are a number of alternative dispute resolution practices that could potentially help evolving issues in the workplace.

“It is incredibly important to stay up on the latest legislation and workplace changes whether you are a neutral, advocate, human resource manager or labor relations professional.”

Scheinman Institute webcasts provide audiences with experts who connect research and theory with best practices. For more information visit, http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/scheinman-institute.

Click here to view a recorded version of the webcast.