INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
State Superintendent Of Public Instruction Thrown Out Of Public Meeting
Chino Valley Unified School District showed a lack of respect for Tony Thurmond as he spoke on behalf of the safety of LGBTQ+ students.
“I ask you to consider this: that the policy that you consider tonight…may put our students at risk because they may not be in homes where they can be [safe]…”
– Tony Thurmond
In a perfect world, all children would have relationships with their parents where they felt safe to discuss any subject without hesitation. Homes would be judgment-free zones where all children, even those questioning their gender identity, would be accepted and loved unconditionally. But in the words of Ice T, It “ain’t like that.”
In reality, there are children whose physical well-being would be put in danger if their parents were to find out that they were members of the LGBTQ+ community. Others might face emotional abuse or estrangement. According to the National Coalition For The Homeless, “LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth.”These effects are not limited to parents whose hopeless bigotry is stronger than their love for their children. Some may have unwittingly sent homophobic messaging that they would surely drop if they knew how much they were hurting their child. Others might be struggling to process reality but, given the time, may provide the acceptance that is deserved.
It is families within this last group of parents who will be hurt by policies like the one just passed by the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD). By requiring parental notification “after a student requests to identify with a gender different than what is on their birth certificate”, politicians are forcibly outing children at a pace that they may not be ready for. They are also eliminating a path to support from outside the family structure, one that is essential when “LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers.”