• SGV LGBTQ Students Need Solutions: Adopt Restorative Practices
    In November 2013, Jewlyes Gutierrez, a transgender girl from California, was outrageously charged with assault for defending herself against bullying at school. A year earlier, Dynasty Young in Indiana was expelled for bringing a stun gun to school in self-defense after enduring months of harassment based on his sexual orientation and gender expression. Jewlyes, Dynasty, LGBTQ youth, and all students deserve better. Our district can -- and must -- take action now to make sure our students are never put in a similar position. We often hear about bullying in schools, but the anti-bullying and zero tolerance policies adopted in response pose just as much of a danger for LGBTQ youth of color. Together, hostile school environments and extreme disciplinary policies create a school-to-prison pipeline for youth of color, youth with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth, telling them that their lives are disposable and that simply trying to get an education carries a risk of jail time. LGBTQ youth make up just 5-7% of the youth population, but represent 15% of those in the juvenile justice system. Exclusionary practices (like suspensions and expulsions) hurt all students' ability to succeed and achieve their academic goals and dreams. We believe restorative justice practices are the best solution for school discipline problems involving bias-based bullying and harassment, because they allow schools to address the root problems behind bullying and harmful behavior. In January, the Obama administration released guidelines for improving school climate and discipline. Those guidelines recommend best practices like restorative approaches and condemn punitive policies and court referrals. It has been proven that alternative discipline with non-punitive approaches provides better student outcomes and keeps the student community together. In March 2014, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, and the Advancement Project jointly released a toolkit highlighting restorative approaches as a best practice and providing guidance to administrators and educators on implementing them. In order to keep ourselves and fellow students in school, we demand that restorative justice practices, as outlined in the "Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools" toolkit, be implemented in our district.
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  • GSA for HHS
    I believe a GSA Club is important and could benefit HHS, because in a small town in the "country" some people are brought up to not tolerate LGBT+. I want to let LGBT+ students unite with straight allies to end this problem within the school and give a safe place for all students to come and discuss the issues. This could also give a safe place for students who have not come out yet to build up the courage to be known as an LGBT+ student and feel safe being who they are.
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    Created by Faith Brantley
  • We need a GSA at The Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice!
    Due to a lack of education or being exposed to the LGBTQ community, the students at our school are homophobic but also sexualize the idea of being queer. A GSA would normalize being queer, it would break a lot of boundaries and stereotypical mindsets. A Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club would provide a much-needed safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work to create positive change on campus. Under the Federal Equal Access Act (http://www.gsanetwork.org/equal-access-act), any school that receives government funding and has at least one other non-curricular club is legally required to also allow a GSA. Legally, public schools with other clubs must let students start a GSA -- and must treat the GSA like any other student club! Schools can't make up rules that only apply to the GSA and nobody else. GSAs have been proven to make schools safer for all students. Allow us to start a GSA so that ALL students can succeed.
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    Created by Pao LG Picture
  • We need a GSA at Clear Creek High School
    A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club would provide a much-needed safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work to create positive change on campus. Under the Federal Equal Access Act (http://www.gsanetwork.org/equal-access-act), any school that receives government funding and has at least one other non-curricular club is legally required to also allow a GSA. Legally, public schools with other clubs must let students start a GSA -- and must treat the GSA like any other student club! Schools can't make up rules that only apply to the GSA and nobody else. GSAs have been proven to make schools safer for all students. Allow us to start a GSA so that ALL students can succeed.
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    Created by Scarlet Dugas
  • Uphold Parkway Sex Ed
    In the Spring of 2016, the Parkway Board of Education voted to bring changes to the Sexual Education Curriculum to make it inclusive. But it is still under attack. The Parkway School Board now has a conservative majority. We must tell them that we NEED Sex Ed to keep us safe. Please sign to stand with Parkway Students.
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    Created by Andrew Bennett Picture
  • We need a GSA at DuBois Area Senior High School!
    At our school, while some people are accepting of LGBTQ+ students in our school, there is still many ways I and many of my friends are singled out. I have come out to my mom, but my best friend hasn't, because her mother is extremely unaccepting. And there might be other students without a support group of other LGBTQ+ youth, and could form a stronger support group for other students struggling with their identities. A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club would provide a much-needed safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work to create positive change on campus. Under the Federal Equal Access Act (http://www.gsanetwork.org/equal-access-act), any school that receives government funding and has at least one other non-curricular club is legally required to also allow a GSA. Legally, public schools with other clubs must let students start a GSA -- and must treat the GSA like any other student club! Schools can't make up rules that only apply to the GSA and nobody else. GSAs have been proven to make schools safer for all students. Allow us to start a GSA so that ALL students can succeed.
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    Created by Victoria Kelemen Picture
  • CUSD: Gender-Neutral Dress Code
    The Clovis Unified School District's majority vote (4-3) refusing the adaptation of a gender-neutral dress code is illegal. Under the California Education Code (Ch. 2 Art. 3 Sec. 220), students are entitled to their right of not being subjected to "...discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression...". Students, parents, and community members alike believe that the mindset during the implementation of the 1975 CUSD dress code does not reflect the mindset of 2016's society.
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  • Gender Equality for MHS
    Many student feel their gender doesn't categorize as male or female. These kids are often discriminated against or disregarded completely. This can create many issues for both the mental and physical health of the student. If we educate our school about non binary genders, it will help on the path to equality. Also, if we create a bathroom for non binary individuals, not only would it give them somewhere to use the restroom safely, it would create a better and more accepting environment in general.
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    Created by Amber Gilson
  • Support Comprehensive Inclusive Sex Education Revisions in Parkway School District
    Because Students health, safety and even lives could be in danger without this type of education. Bad information leads to poor ability to make decisions and leaving students without tools needed to handle what happens when those decisions are made. We need all the information when it comes to sexual health, not just some of it.
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    Created by Asher McNamee
  • BOYCOTT 2015 "STONEWALL" MOVIE
    OUR HISTORY WILL NOT BE WHITE/CIS-WASHED. History classes throughout our nation have built a reputation of instructing young generations that white, straight, cis folks are the saviors and founders of this land. Wrong. We were taught that light-skinned people are the goal; the goal to assimilate to. Wrong. We were also rarely taught about queer history, but when we were, it probably revolved around white cis gay men. Wrong. This film is no different that the history classes that are serving a disservice to every potential viewer. From the previews alone, queer folks have gathered that the centralized character is a white cis gay man. (WHY?) From the previews alone, queer folks have gathered that not many people of color are even in the film. (WHY?) To make this short, we have also gathered that white folks are being credited in throwing the brick, starting the riots, starting the "gay liberation front" and also capturing the heart of a light-skinned transwoman. (Of course we all fall in love with the white saviors. WRONG.)
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  • Pass Ohio Senate Bill 34: End Zero Tolerance Now!
    Zero tolerance policies in Ohio Schools have been shown to negatively affect everyone in our communities, and disproportionately harm youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and students with disabilities. The spirit of Ohio schools should be one of caring, stability, and support for ALL students. According to testimony from Ohio Senator Tavares on March 17, 2015: "A disproportionate number of the total number of disciplinary incidents in Ohio public schools affected black students and students with disabilities. Black students in Ohio public schools for the 2012-13 school year accounted for 52 percent of all suspensions and 53 percent of all expulsions, even though black students comprise only 15.9 percent of students enrolled in Ohio schools. Students with disabilities account for 27.5 percent of all suspensions, but only 14.8 percent of total enrollment. Black students are over 6 times more likely to be suspended than white students, and students with disabilities are approximately twice as likely to be suspended. Students with emotional disturbance - a certain category of disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - however, are over 6 times more likely to be suspended. And if you put race and disability together, a black student with emotional disturbance is 25 times more likely to be suspended than a White student with no disability." Additionally, the ACLU released a report demonstrating how zero tolerance policies harm all youth, especially LGBTQ+ students. The report concluded that zero tolerance policies: -"DON’T improve school safety or climate. The assumption behind Zero Tolerance policies is that removing disruptive students from school will deter other students from disruption and create an improved school climate. But research shows that the opposite is in fact true—schools with high suspension and expulsion rates have worse school climates and higher rates of suspension and misbehavior. -DON’T stop the bullies from bullying. Suspension and expulsion don’t result in changed behavior, and they could lock in that behavior. Studies of school suspension show that up to 40% of school suspensions are for repeat offenders, leading researchers to conclude that, for those students, 'suspension functions as a reinforcer...rather than a punisher.' -ARE used against LGBTQ students more than straight students. Research also shows that Zero Tolerance policies are disproportionately used against vulnerable student populations, including students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students. A recent study concluded that LGBTQ students were 1.25 to 3 times more likely to get punished at school than their heterosexual peers. What this means is that the LGBTQ student who fights back against bullying is more likely to be punished than the bully." Introduced by Senator Tavares and sponsored by Senators Seitz, Brown, Thomas, and Skindell, SB34 will: "Eliminate any policy of zero tolerance for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior, including excessive truancy, adopted under this section as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment. Thereafter, no board shall adopt or readopt any policy of zero tolerance for such behavior. Each board shall instead adopt a policy that allows for many factors to be considered prior to the suspension or expulsion of a student. The policy shall establish alternative strategies, including prevention, intervention, restorative justice, peer mediation, and counseling to address both of the following: (1) Discipline for student behavioral problems; (2) Harassment, intimidation, and bullying, as defined by section 3313.666 of the Revised Code."
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  • AVUHSD Implement Ethnic Studies NOW!
    In order to empower our community we need a culturally enriched education that celebrates diversity and individuality and that is not limited to conquest, slavery, labor or servitude. Our education must be reflective and responsive to the needs of our community. A diverse education is reflective of our lived experiences and identities as marginalized ethnic, racial, cultural, gender and LGBT communities. Educate to Liberate!
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