FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON TEMPLE HIGH SCHOOL WALKOUT
September 29, 2021 – AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released comment on Temple High School students’ courageous walkout in solidarity with their transgender classmate who reports experiencing a hostile school climate.
“Findings from the GLSEN 2019 National School Climate Survey demonstrate that Texas schools are not safe for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) secondary school students. More recently, the Trevor Project released findings that they received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021 — a 150% increase over the same period last year — with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans bill being debated in our state. This moment in time requires thoughtful inquiry and reflection about how schools can best support transgender children who are juggling being a kid, a global pandemic, living authentically, and the weight of cruel legislative attacks. School-based supports such as school personnel who are supportive of LGBTQ+ students and their identities, GSA student clubs, access to facilities that match a student’s gender identity, and LGBTQ-inclusive curricular resources can positively affect school climate for LGBTQ+ students and their peers. The absence of these supports can have detrimental effects on the mental health of youth and contributes to the development of hostile school climates experienced by all students. We should be working to create supportive and affirming environments in our schools that allow all people on campus, including LGBTQ+ students, to focus on academic success. It is our duty to ensure this goal is realized. Equality Texas is steadfast in our commitment to foster safe and inclusive environments where all LGBTQ+ Texans can live authentically and achieve their fullest potential. We applaud Temple High School students for their courage to stand in solidarity with their classmates and modeling what compassion, understanding and unconditional love look like,” said Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas.
Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.