WANTAGH MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL PUBLISHED IN EDUCATION MAGAZINE
Wantagh Middle School Principal Anthony Ciuffo has published an article, “Rethinking Conventions: Keeping Gender-Diverse Students Safe,” in the October 2019 edition of Educational Leadership Magazine. Based on five years of research for Mr. Ciuffo, who was formerly principal of Forest Lake Elementary School in the Wantagh School District, the article addresses his research and suggestions for keeping gender diverse students safe, while promoting tolerance and acceptance on campus. Forest Lake Elementary School psychologist Dr. Tracy Zelenetz contributed to the article.
Mr. Ciuffo explained that the impetus for the article was the registration of two gender nonconforming kindergarten students entering his school, prompting a much-need shift in his own thinking on gender conformity. Based on their research, Mr. Ciuffo and Dr. Zelenetz pieced together a framework for accepting and supporting transgender students, which is built around four best practices: build gender literacy, respect gender identity and expression, balance personal views with professional roles; and establish a sense of safety.
“I wanted teachers and administrators to start thinking deeper about gender,” Mr. Ciuffo said. “To support our gender-nonconforming students, Tracy and I knew we needed a plan that deliberately laid out steps that would promote acceptance.”
Mr. Ciuffo was invited to present his article at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Empower 2020 Conference, which was to be held in Los Angeles this past March but was canceled. The article can also be read by clicking on the following link: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/oct19/vol77/num02/Rethinking_Conventions@_Keeping_Gender-Diverse_Students_Safe.aspx.