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Students Petition Fort Bend School Board to Add LGBTQ Protections

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(FortGenderBenders.org)

From staff reports

Students at Dulles High School in Sugar Land are petitioning the Fort Bend school board to add LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

The petition from the Dulles High School Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) had garnered nearly 500 signatures by Tuesday afternoon, December 12. It calls for the school board to amend the district’s nondiscrimination policy by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected categories. The policy currently covers race, religion, color, age, national origin, sex, and disability.

“As one of the most diverse school districts in Texas, Fort Bend ISD has a duty to celebrate, value, and protect diversity of all kinds,” the petition states. “Every child should feel seen, heard, and affirmed at school, and every teacher/administrator should feel supported at work. LGBTQ students and teachers contribute to the dynamic diversity and rich culture of our school district, and we deserve equal rights and a learning environment free of discrimination.”

The website hosting the SAGA petition belongs to the Fort Bend Gender Benders, a group of students, parents, teachers and community members that’s been working for over two years to amend the district’s nondiscrimination policy. The site lists several statistics from GLSEN’s 2013 School Climate Survey showing widespread discrimination faced by LGBTQ students.

“While Fort Bend is typically friendly, it would be naïve to think that the district is immune to these statistics,” the site states. “We know that Fort Bend ISD trustees would never condone this type of discrimination, but to actually prevent it will require their action. Fort Bend ISD needs to put a policy on the books to protect LGBT students and employees from discrimination.”

To sign the petition, go here.

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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