Michael Woods has been in Florida his entire life, and as an openly gay teacher at Santaluces Community High School, he takes pride in working with LGBT youth.

“My role as an educator gives me a unique perspective. I interact with high school-aged students daily,” Woods said. “I have witnessed a change in the dynamic regarding the way that young people, both view being LGBTQ as well as the way allied students interact with and treat those who are or are perceived as being LGBTQ.”

Aside from more than two decades as an educator, Woods has been on the Compass Community Board since 2003. He’s currently Treasurer. Even though it may seem like we’ve come a long way, Woods said we shouldn’t take it for granted.

“We should always be cognizant of the climate of our nation and that the attitudes of individuals are constantly changing,” he said. “We have fought hard in our schools to get anti-bullying and harassment policies changed and implemented — protecting students and staff — but we must work toward a system in which we actively and continually educate about these policies and how to provide safer spaces for youth and adults.”


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