Undergraduate Symposium: LGBT Bullying

First-time presenter addresses LGBT bullying

by Amy Bearinger, Published March 26, 2012

YPSILANTI - Participation in the Undergraduate Symposium at EMU provides students with many exciting opportunities. One element of the event, which has a clear impact for all participants, is student research that has a direct connection to today's world.

William Milburn, a senior and special education major from New Baltimore, Mich., is excited to present for the first time, and hopes his research will continue beyond the Symposium. In his project titled, "Understanding Preservice Teachers' Knowledge About-and Perceived Skills in Addressing-LGBT Bullying in Schools," Milburn examines the serious and current topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) bullying.

Examining the issue from the perspective of future educators, Milburn provides an analysis that highlights teacher disposition and willingness to address bullying issues within schools.

"The aim of this project is to bring an awareness to teacher education programs that LGBT bullying is a relevant issue," Milburn explains. "Highly effective teachers need to be prepared to address these issues in the pursuit of creating safe school environments."

During his presentation, Milburn highlights the results of a survey given to 450 students already in, or preparing to join, EMU's College of Education. This survey examined preservice teacher knowledge about bullying as well as a reflection of the perceived skill set they've obtained from their teacher education program regarding this serious issue.

Milburn looks forward to receiving feedback, reactions and responses to his research. He hopes the audience will gain insight that can take their knowledge of LGBT bullying beyond a basic understanding. 

"There is so much that surrounds the issue; it is much more than just bullying based on perceived sexual orientation," Milburn said. "Awareness will help teachers recognize and address the implications from bullying that might have gone unnoticed before. When we are more aware of the issue, and understand its complexities, we are better prepared to begin addressing the issue in our schools."

Milburn will present in Session A in room 352 of the Student Center. For more information please visit the Undergraduate Symposium website at emich.edu/symposium.

Geoff Larcom



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