• 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. Missouri 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. We believe restorative justice practices are the best solution for school discipline problems involving bias-based bullying and harassment. We can make this happen together by building a powerful student network to push back against school push out. Further, we believe that punitive exclusionary practices (like suspensions and expulsions) hurt all students' ability to succeed and achieve their academic goals and dreams. 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 Missouri.
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    Created by Ka'Milla M.
  • Allow the Troy High School Drama Department to put on The Laramie Project
    Recently, The Laramie Project was proposed as the spring, open audition play on Troy High School's campus. The play was vetoed by Dr. Giokaris for containing mature themes. Our school has put on plays containing mature themes before, with To Kill a Mockingbird (containing themes of rape, racism, and violence), The Cat and the Canary (in which a character was shown hanged and others shot on stage), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (blunt depictions of abuse in mental institutions). The Laramie Project is no worse ( and likely more appropriate) than many plays we have put on in the past. Our drama department has the right to put on this production, and does not deserve to be the victim of injustice. For more info on the Laramie Project, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Laramie_Project and http://community.laramieproject.org/
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    Created by Kate D.
  • Allow GSA a Place in the Clovis North High School Yearbook
    Without the proper publicity, teens who are struggling with their sexual and romantic orientations won't be able to find our club as easily. We're working very hard to educate students on the LGBT community so they can feel safe and protected, but my kids feel like they're being targeted by school officials. GSA should be extended the same rights as every other club, not singled out because of what we stand for.
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    Created by Cassi D. Picture
  • Add Gender Identity / Expression to the NDO
    All students/faculty/staff should be able to bring their full-selves to work and class every day by adding this protected class we can further ensure this is the case.
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    Created by Caleb-Michael F. Picture
  • Let the McKinley GSA have a pride week leading up to the Day of Silence!
    Many people do not remember the Day of Silence or do not know anything about it. A pride week is a great way to make people aware of the Day of Silence as well as the school GSA.
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    Created by Malena M.
  • Breaking the Gender Binary at Graduation
    We had asked students from Capuchino, Penninsula, Mills, San Mateo High, Aragon, Burlingame High, and Hillsdale why this was important to them. These were their responses. "Students are not gender binary. In fact, they fall in many different places on a spectrum, especially in high school when teens are exploring where they fall on the gender identity spectrum. " "This tradition presents more of a sense of separation at graduation than it does unity, because it does not allow students who do not conform to the gender binary the comfort that they deserve. By giving all students the simple choice to wear either green or gold or even a combination of the two, the students are given more freedom to make a choice regarding their own graduation and are able to come together as a community through the availability of a choice. " "Students should not feel uncomfortable on the day they are recognized for graduating high school. If the student does not feel the gender color gown they are assigned is accurate or if they do not identify with either gender, they should not be forced to wear that color graduation gown. We need to change this style of deciding gown colors by gender because there are many students that may not be sure of their gender identity at this point in their life or have not told their families and friends yet. These students should not be forced to wear a color that labels them as strictly male or female. A last name or numbering off system of deciding gown color for graduation would alleviate the pressure of fitting a gender binary." "I find it profoundly strange how we are told that as students that we are all different and that is is good to be that. From what I have taken from my high school experience is that we shouldn't allow ourselves to be defined by those around us and that who we are is solely determined by us. Yet if I can’t be who I am at my school due to gender specific roles that the school places on us then why try? School by itself is a difficult thing and its even harder when being told who to be. It comes to a simple thing “Let me be me”." The reason we want this petition to be done is to end that gender binary system that schools in this district still have. There have been schools, such as Hillsdale, that have successfully been able to implement this into their school. This was not done without being given a reason to, a reason that revealed the urgency of this need for getting rid of the segregation. A few years ago, a transgender student who had not been out to his parents was unsure what robe to choose. He had decided to not go to graduation because of this issue that he was facing. The part that had gotten many students the most upset was the fact that this student was also valedictorian. Not only had he missed out on his graduation, he had missed out on his chance to make a speech as the representative for the class. We do not want this segregation to continue and to even create issues that escalate to students deciding that they can't go to graduation because of how uncomfortable they feel. We are making a stand together to speak out against this segregation and to make a change. We thank you for your consideration.
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    Created by Aiden C.
  • Keep Chick-Fil-A off FJUHSD campuses
    Many FJUHSD students feel it would be hurtful to have the school administration and district board of trustees and superintendent supporting an organization whose president is so vehemently against LGBTQ students. While it may seem innocuous to merely have Chick-Fil-A on campus, giving the opportunity for the organization to make money on our campuses is still a form of support for an organization that has made comments that are offensive to many of our students. Please sign and keep our schools safe and inclusive for each and every student on campus.
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    Created by Kate D.
  • Support all AVUHSD Students
    My name is Jazmine Lagunas Guerrero and I go to SOAR High School in Lancaster. I like that we value community and family here in the Antelope Valley. But people don't realize that living here can be really difficult for some of our youth. Youth who identify as LGBTQ, and especially young people who identify as transgender, face a lot of challenges to simply make it through each day here. Kids who are transgender have known on a deep level that their gender is different from the sex they were born with. It is a hard concept for many people to understand, which is OK. Still it's important for me, and I hope it's important for everyone else in our community, that all youth are given the opportunity to do well in school and are not singled out and excluded because of who they are. AB 1266, a law that went into effect in January, gives important guidance to schools so they can work with youth and families on a case-by-case basis to ensure every student can do well. It makes sure that all students, including transgender students, can use facilities and play on sports teams that match their identity. This law does not create co-ed bathrooms. Girls and boys bathrooms are separate, and this law doesn’t change that. If you live your life as a boy, you use the boy’s bathroom, and if you live your life as a girl you use the girl’s bathroom. Several school districts have already adopted new policies to support all students since AB 1266 was enacted last year. The California School Board Association has issued guidance for districts, encouraging them to adopt policies to ensure all youth can fully participate in school as themselves. LAUSD, the second largest district in the country, has had a policy in place for years, and no problems have ever arisen. Yet in the Antelope Valley, young people are struggling daily, with their education, health, and well-being at risk. At my high school, we all come to school to study and to learn. It doesn't matter to me if you're a boy or girl, transgender or not. Please support all students in our district, so that all Antelope Valley youth have a chance to do well in school and thrive.
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    Created by Jazmine L. Picture
  • Give LGBT Students a Safer School Environment
    Because LGBT Students should not feel scare or out of place at school.They go there to learn and enjoy school not to be bully and put down.
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    Created by Terrell M. Picture
  • Allow For A LGBTQ Club at Francis Lewis High School
    This is important to many student because by allowing this club to be available to student, allows them to have a safe haven where they are able to to join together with other student who are going thru similar struggles with either acceptance, coming out or other issues.
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    Created by Rebecca Z.
  • LGBTQ Studies Program
    The LGBTQ community is a historically under-served, underrepresented and marginalized community. Offering studies will not only dispel the myths and stereotypes associated with this community, but it will also be consistent with the colleges's Vision, Mission, Values, and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes statement as articulated by the following: "Diversity Because ARC is a community valuing the varied perspectives and experiences of students, faculty and staff, the college offers educational opportunities for enhancing cultural awareness, supporting diversity, and promoting the free exchange of ideas and the development of a culturally competent and inclusive college community." (as of 4/1/2014 per http://www.arc.losrios.edu/About_ARC/Vision_Mission_and_Values.htm)
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