Thanks to a high school teacher who recognized the need of exploring gender studies course in her classes, college level gender studies are now offered in high school.

Soft SkillsAt Aurora High School, Elizabeth Truskin found that her students were passionately interested in the idea of “toxic masculinity,” as they compared Shakespeare to the way that men today are supposed to “prove their manhood.”  In her literature and English classes at Vista Peak Prep, girls were angered about the dress code, objecting to the problem of restricting their clothing since boys were distracted if a bra strap could be seen.

And during a poetry slam, her students told the stories of being the gay kid when classmates played a game at recess called “smear the queer.”

Truskin decided to create a gender studies course, which is usually an area of study for college students.

The 25 year old teacher will start her fourth year in the classroom next month when Vista Peak offers gender studies as a year old elective.  The class will explore questions such as why girls are taught to love pink, why transgender people are targets of violence, and cultures that respect gender neutral citizens. Nearly 40 students have registered.

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