100 signatures reached
To: Admin and educators from K-12
Show up for TLGBQ+ young people, now!
15-year-old Nigel Shelby, a Black gay freshman from Huntsville, Alabama completed suicide this month. The news took to headlines across the nation. His mother Camika has spoken of her son as her “sunshine,” but he was the target of anti-gay bullying within his school. His death was preventable. The deaths of all young TLGBQ+ people are preventable and we all have a role in this work.
As the young members of the National Trans Youth Council, we demand action. As organizers, we work together to create resources, media, and opportunities for young queer and trans people to feel seen, heard, loved, and valued. But we need everyone to show up! Honoring Nigel, honoring others who are no longer alive, and honoring every one of us who is still here, we demand action from schools nationwide.
1. We demand that every teacher assume the responsibility of making their classroom a safe space for TLGBQ+ students in order to create a welcoming atmosphere that leaves no room for anti-queer and anti-trans bullying.
2. We demand that school administrators support their students in implementing Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) clubs in all schools.
3. We demand that all students are given access to psychiatric services administered by licensed professionals on campus free of charge. We need easy access to therapy, counseling, emotional support, and other mental health services.
4. We demand that all teachers and administrators undergo comprehensive training about the needs and experiences of TLGBQ+ students. School staff hold power and must use this power to intervene in violent situations.
5. We demand that schools publicize, offer, and connect TLGBQ+ students to direct support resources, such as the Trevor Project, and the gender/sexual orientation mapping tool “The Gender Unicorn”.
6. We demand TLGBQ+ inclusive sex education to be offered to all students.
Why is this important?
We address these demands to every person within the K-12 education system, from Betsy DeVos to the local school teachers, because we ALL hold a responsibility to shift the narrative and transform our schools. Any student who is pushed out of schools into jails or death is one student too many.
As young organizers, we understand our needs and voices to often be the afterthought of adults and educators. Commonly, our narratives are ignored until it is too late. Ageism encourages middle-aged people (usually our guardians and educators) to assume that young people do not have the potential to move agendas and make change. We are here, today, making it clear: our truths will lead the way.
Show up for TLGBQ+ youth. Now.