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Gender and sexually diverse students continue to experience a complex educational landscape. Sociopolitical influences oftentimes run orthogonal to evidence-based practices, resulting in diminished academic and social emotional success within the educational environment. Advancing legal assaults on the rights of LGBTQ+ students further complicate these dynamics, despite significant gains across some elements of case and statute. This presentation will update attendees on the latest legal complexities impacting gender and sexually diverse students across PreK-12 education. Consideration of ongoing best practice recommendations will ensure the behavioral health community continues to raise social consciousness and advocacy within this student population.

 Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain substantive national supportive and adversarial statutory legislation affecting LGBTQ+ students since 2019 and their impact on educational equity within the PreK-12 environment.
  2. Identify at least 3 key elements of the Bostock Supreme Court decision that impact various non-discrimination statues within education, particularly Title IX, and prohibition of sex and gender-based discrimination for LGBTQ+ students that will usher in new legal protections onward
  3. Demarcate universal, targeted, and intensive tier, evidence-based supports that behavioral health providers can provide within the PreK-12 educational arena towards advancing the civil rights and comprehensive supports of LGBTQ+ students.

Presenter:  Erich Merkle, PhD, EdS, NCSP

Dr. Erich Merkle is presently the central office school psychologist for the Akron Board of Education where he oversees the Pupil Adjustment Program (PAP) between the Departments of Student Support Services and Office of Special Education. Within the school psychology specialty, Dr. Merkle has concentrated his work on consultation, evaluation, and intervention for students with severe social-emotional and behavioral needs that have resulted in substantial educational disciplinary sanctioning, expulsion, placement into residential facilities, or the judicial system. He is also a frequent professional development trainer on a diversity of topics that represent the intersection of psychology and education as well as the legal aspects of those practices. Dr. Merkle holds an APA accredited and NASP approved doctorate (Ph.D.) in school psychology and psychology, an educational specialist (Ed.S.) in educational administration, a master's degree (M.Ed.) in mental health counseling, and a master's degree (M.A.) in human development, all from Kent State University as well as a baccalaureate degree (B.S.) in psychology from Heidelberg University. He holds professional licensure as both a school psychologist and educational administrator as well as national certification as a school psychologist (NCSP). Dr. Merkle commits himself to service within the professions of psychology and education, serving on the governance boards of numerous professional and community agencies. During 2014-15, Dr. Merkle was the President of the Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA) and in 2019-20, he served as the President of the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA). He is also the shared Association liaison between OSPA and OPA. Dr. Merkle has participated in numerous media interviews over his career on a diverse set of psychoeducational topics. He is also the recipient of the Ohio Public Sector Psychologist of the Year and President Awards from the Ohio Psychological Association. 

 2 Ethics Hours Earned

Because of our Community of Practice grant this year, OSPA is able to provide this webinar for FREE to members.  Non-member cost is $30.

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There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please cite and credit the source when copying all or part of this document. This document was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award number H027A210111, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.