TEP Logo

About

The Transgender Education Program© is a new professional learning opportunity for K-12 educators created at Arizona State University that focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of transgender students. The Transgender Education Program© is designed to provide educators with the knowledge and understanding they need to help transgender students be successful in school and to promote affirming schools where all students learn and thrive.

Ways to connect

Online Course (NEW) - TEP is now online. Access our engaging, self-paced course for K-12 educators online. Complete the course and receive professional development clock hours.

 

Free Informational Session
TEP offers opportunities for K-12 staff and administration to learn about various components of the program at ASU, free of charge. Come and explore the benefits of having an on-site whole-school workshop as a critical first step towards creating safe and inclusive educational environments where all students thrive.

School Workshops – Bring TEP to your school with our 1 or 2 hour in-person workshop. We have options to accommodate any size group and provide professional development clock hours. Let TEP help you and your team create an affirming learning environment where all students thrive. Contact us today at TEP@asu.edu to schedule your workshop. Corporate Workshops – TEP offers corporate workshops to help businesses learn how to create inclusive and affirming work environments for transgender and gender nonconforming employees. Contact us today at TEP@asu.edu to schedule your workshop.

Did You Know...

  • 80% of transgender students feel unsafe at school?
  • 78% have been harassed?
  • 42% of transgender students are prevented from using their asserted name at school?
  • 59% are unable to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity?
  • 80% have contemplated suicide?
  • You can create an affirming school for transgender students, which may be the only supportive place they have?

 


Cammy Bellis, M. Ed.

Cammy Bellis is the Program Manager for the Transgender Education Program and lead developer of the TEP online module in partnership EdPlus. She received her Masters in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in social justice education. Cammy has been teaching at ASU since 2009 and developed the first course of it's kind at ASU on transgender youth and families. Additionally, over last 10 years she has presented teachers, administrators, counselors, and school psychologists on how create safe affirming school environments for LGBTQ youth in an effort decrease harassment and bullying. Cammy was previously the Training Coordinator Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Phoenix and former board member. She is heavily involved with Commission Status of Women and leads workshops for faculty and staff on transgender student needs at post-secondary level. She currently sits on Transgender Student Support Working group and is the adviser to ASU's transgender student club.


Liz Tollis

Liz Tollis has worked with children, teachers, and parents, and families in museums, public schools, afterschool programs, and Head Starts since 2002. She developed age-appropriate early childhood science programming at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and she is proud to be one the original founders of P.S. 276, the Battery Park City School in lower Manhattan, which opened in 2009. Her family's relocation to Arizona brought her to the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU in 2014. Here she collaborates with researchers to create resources that build positive relationships among children and youth. Besides the Transgender Education Program, recent projects include a social-emotional intervention for use by middle school teachers and students, and a resource for parents and teachers that encourages the development of self-regulation skills in three to five year olds. She is honored to be a part of a dedicated team at ASU that creates excellent educational opportunities for a range of learners. She holds a masters degree from Bank Street College of Education.


Shawn Kirkilewski-Flora

Shawn Kirkilewski-Flora received her degree from Ball State University in 2000 and began her career as an educator in public schools. She became part of the Project Connect team at Arizona State University in 2014. She collaborates with researchers in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics to develop and assess resources that prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to improve positive peer relationships in the classroom. She has assisted with the creation of the Transgender Education Program in-person workshops and an online continuing education module.

For more information:

TEP@asu.edu
480-965-6917

Ways to connect

Free Informational Session
TEP offers opportunities for K-12 staff and administration to learn about various components of the program at ASU, free of charge. Come and explore the benefits of having an on-site whole-school workshop as a critical first step towards creating safe and inclusive educational environments where all students thrive.

Online Course (NEW) - TEP is now online. Access our engaging, self-paced course for K-12 educators online. Complete the course and receive professional development clock hours.

School Workshops – Bring TEP to your school with our 1 or 2 hour in-person workshop. We have options to accommodate any size group and provide professional development clock hours. Let TEP help you and your team create an affirming learning environment where all students thrive. Contact us today at TEP@asu.edu to schedule your workshop.
Corporate Workshops – TEP offers corporate workshops to help businesses learn how to create inclusive and affirming work environments for transgender and gender nonconforming employees. Contact us today at TEP@asu.edu to schedule your workshop.

 

 

In the News

Politics aside, ASU expert says schools can help transgender students

By Mary Beth Faller

As the federal government wrangles over the rights of transgender students, an Arizona State University expert says that politics aside, schools can still create an affirming environment for those children.

President Donald Trump revoked anti-discrimination protections for transgender students on Wednesday; some news outlets had reported disagreement among top federal officials on the rollback.

“I think this step by the administration serves as a blow to transgender youth, but we know that schools and districts around the country still have a moral and ethical and legal responsibility to make sure all students feel safe and free of discrimination and harassment,” said Camellia Bellis, who has worked as an advocate for transgender students and their families.

Last May, the U.S. Education and Justice departments said that transgender students should be allowed to use facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Immediately after that ruling, Arizona joined several other states in a lawsuit challenging that interpretation.

Bellis, a program manager, developed a transgender education program that is being offered to K–12 teachers by Project Connect, part of the T. Sanford Denny School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU. The workshops trains teachers, administrators, nurses, counselors and other educators in how to create a welcoming atmosphere that helps transgender students learn.

Transgender people have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex.

Bellis answered some questions for ASU Now:

Question: How will a rollback on the federal guidelines affect schools?

Answer: It might seem a bit confusing to some schools or districts — what, specifically are they supposed to do? We know that Title IX and the U.S. Constitution protect transgender students from discrimination. They just don’t have that federal backing right now, and it’s sad because it sends a message to transgender youth in this country that “you don’t matter to the federal government.” And that’s a harmful message to send.

There are no state protections in Arizona for LGBT students, so it really is dependent on districts and schools to have those policies.

We won’t know much more legally until the arguments in front of the Supreme Court at the end of March.

Q: How many transgender students are there?

A: The Williams Institute came out last year and said it can be anywhere from 0.3 to 0.8 percent of the population. Those of us who work with trans youths in school think it’s about 1 percent of the population. So if you have 500 students in a school, you’ll have about five trans students. Whether they’re ‘out’ or not is another story.

When we hear a school say, “We don’t have any trans students,” that’s not true. They just don’t know about them.

Q: How can schools affirm transgender students?

A: They can take proactive steps, making sure they have nondiscrimination policies that protect them, specifically stating that they’re allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, and (the schools) will use the asserted pronoun they identify with. They should have conversations with staff. Some have called it a “gender-support plan,” where it spells out exactly what that district’s stand is on bathrooms, locker rooms, sports teams, physical education, how do we keep their files confidential, make sure their (previous) name isn’t launched out there by a substitute teacher?

We recently did a training for high school nurses, and most them didn’t know what their school’s policy was. Can transgender students use the bathroom? They didn’t know.

Taking a stance says, “The federal government may not feel that this vulnerable population needs to be protected, but in this school we will make sure you’re safe and affirmed and we know that when you feel affirmed, you can learn.”

For information on the Transgender Education Program, visit TransEdProgram.org.

Article Source: ASU Now

Contact Us

For more information:

TEP@asu.edu
480-965-6917

Transgender Education Program - ASU Online

Transgender Education Workshop Objectives

  • Engage in best practices
  • Examine current research
  • Explore answers to common questions
  • Share experiences with peers