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Trans teen wants to fix the education system that failed him

Grimm said he hopes to infiltrate the education system that failed him.

“I’m passionate about helping guide the next generation and I think being a teacher is a way to do that. Growing up, I was bullied when I entered school. I recall over the years, how many teachers failed me,” says Grimm. “Then I recall the few who really made a difference. When I think about how scary school can be for LGBTQ kids, I want to be that support for kids.”

Grimm says he wants to see a difference in the way the issue of bullying is approached on the administrative level. First, he said school boards have to actually care to do the work.

“We need zero tolerance policies for bullying that are truly zero tolerance. What I often experienced was administration members saying, we don’t really want to deal with this, or giving a slap on the wrist to the bully. Having an actual conversation that communicates, ‘you will not be treating another student with such unkindness’ would be so integral to making sure every student is safe,” says Grimm.

Diving deeper, Grimm revealed that his experiences being bullied also gave him more empathy for bullies themselves. Oftentimes, he says, these kids are being neglected by the education system from a very young age.

“The administrative attitude of ‘we can’t correct this problem’ often facilitated the bullying. Since I had mental health challenges from growing up being bullied, I ended up in a lot of classes where ‘bad kids’ were. I was briefly in a program specifically meant for kids who were at risk of falling behind, ‘academic troublemakers’ so to speak. I saw so many kids with potential who were intelligent and had been given up on from day one essentially,” Grimm says. “It happens so often, and it’s infuriating. It makes bullying worse, both for those kids and by them. I think the problem is so institutional it needs to change in a big way.”

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