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BKMRK | How can schools approach and support issues of gender identity?

After reading the new book "The 57 Bus" by Dashka Slater, Lekhika asks about how schools can support issues of gender identity.

BKMRK | How can schools approach and support issues of gender identity?

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

Lekhika Chaudhary

W!ZARD News Author

This discussion is brought to you by BKMRK, the book club operated by Hachette Children's Group. To find out about Lekhika Chaudhary's book of the month as part of the BKMRK book club, click here.

The second book as part of Lekhika Chaudhary's BKMRK book club is The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. Based on a true story, Dashka Slater tells the story of an assault that took place in 2013 in Oakland, California, Sasha (a white, agender, private school student) and Richard (an African-American, public school student) both get on the number 57 bus every day – their journeys overlapping by a mere 8 minutes each day.

One day, while messing around on the bus, Richard and his friends see Sasha napping on the back row. Richard flicks his lighter and sets Sasha’s skirt on fire – causing Sasha to wake up in a ball of flames, resulting in third-degree burns. Richard is arrested for committing a hate crime. But, that’s really only the start of the story….

The book explores the challenges faced by Sasha – being agender – and also the challenges faced by Richard – someone who ahs lost loved ones to murder. There’s a lot of confusion on both sides, and a lot to deal with at a young age. One particularly interesting point that the book explores is gender identity, with Sasha asking her friends and family how they knew what they gender was and how the English language does not offer a ready-made way to talk about people who don’t identify as male nor female. However, other languages (such as Finnish, Hindi, Turkish and Thai) don’t face this issue.

This is a very real life issue which, on the surface of it, it would seem that most schools may not be prepared to deal with. Inspired by the book, on Lekhika Chaudhary's radio show she asked: How can schools approach and support issues of gender identity?

Broadcasted exclusively worldwide on W!ZARD Radio Station.

How can schools approach and support issues of gender identity?

Inspired by the book The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater, Lekhika Chaudhary asks her listeners how they think schools can approach and support issues of gender identity. (20 minutes)

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