We need every PFLAG member to raise their voices on behalf of LGBTQ kids. Even if you do not have students in school, please contact your school superintendents, school board members, and other state and local education officials and urge them to ensure all children can learn without anxiety, fear, discrimination, or violence.
Why is this crucial?
On Sunday, August 21st, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education stating that schools must allow students to use facilities in accordance with their gender identity...and that to do otherwise would be a violation of Title IX. The order, granted by Judge Reed O'Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, applies not just in Texas, but nationwide. Coming on the heels of the US Supreme Court blocking a court order to allow a transgender student in Virginia use the facilities in accordance with their gender identity, these rulings have emboldened opposition and are creating anxiety and uncertainty in school districts across the country for students, their families, and school administrators.
Here is what you need to know: School districts can still institute policies that allow all students to use facilities in accordance with their gender identity and maintain inclusive policies that are already in place.
Thousands of PFLAG families across the country are already having to navigate school environments that marginalize their trans kids; these recent setbacks are only making it harder for them and their school districts to do the right thing. Don’t let the unfounded fears of the few stand in the way of what is best for our transgender and gender-expansive young loved ones--make your PFLAG voice heard today!
There are numerous resources, from PFLAG National and others, to help you make a difference, including:
- Here is a great compilation of policies and practices that schools across the country are already using to support transgender students.
- PFLAG National’s Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools For All materials, which offers support and information for parents and educators on how to create safe school environments for LGBTQ students
- The Claim Your Rights program, a partnership of PFLAG National and GLSEN, offers a path forward if your LGBTQ student feels their rights have been violated
- A fantastic guide to laws, regulations, and best practices for use in schools from the Maryland State Department of Education , courtesy of excellent work by a coalition of people and organizations, including PFLAG Columbia-Howard County.